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Anchorage

Overnight snow surprises a city that hasn’t seen much lately

Anchorage residents woke up Friday morning to a sight most haven’t seen in weeks — a full blanket of snow on the ground.

The overnight snowfall dumped 2 to 4 inches in the Anchorage Bowl and even more on the Hillside, where as much as a foot of snow was reported.

Snow continued falling throughout the morning, accumulating to as much as 6 inches on the eastern side of town. In elevated areas above 1,000 feet, the accumulation was expected to be as great as 4 additional inches.

The snow was forecast to stop all together around 2 p.m. before picking up with additional showers in the evening, said meteorologist Amber Hill of the National Weather Service Anchorage forecasting office.

Those showers will likely continue into the overnight hours, and another 1 to 2 inches may fall Saturday evening, Hill said.

Snow in late April isn’t unusual for Anchorage, said Bob Clay, another NWS meteorologist, though it might seem that way after a long bout of abnormally warm weather.

“We’re actually moving back closer to normal,” Clay said.

March shattered temperature records across the state, with highs peaking in the 50s. Before Wednesday, Anchorage hadn’t had any snow on the ground in almost three weeks.

The National Weather Service cautioned that the snow could make for slippery roads. The Anchorage Police Department warned drivers in an early morning message to give themselves plenty of time to get where they’re going.

Hill noted that since it’s nearing May 1, the deadline to have studded tires removed, some people are braving the snow without that added protection.

“I think that’s making it a little more difficult for some people,” she said.

Forecasters expected conditions to improve as temperatures climbed in the afternoon. The high for Friday will be near 40 degrees, the weather service predicts.

For the Hillside and parts of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the new snow is just a sequel. Those areas saw an earlier snowstorm that began Wednesday, while Anchorage received only mixed rain and snow with little accumulation.

The weather is expected to warm up this weekend, forecasters said, making any precipitation that falls a mix of rain and snow showers — excepting that additional inch or two Saturday night.

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