More snow gives Anchorage a new record for snowiest year to date

More snow was in the Anchorage forecast Wednesday after up to a foot fell Tuesday, leading to blowing snow and poor driving conditions that prompted a shift to remote learning for most Anchorage schools.

The additional accumulation put the city at a new record for snowiest year to date since at least 1953, according to National Weather Service data.

Bands of moderate to heavy snow showers were expected to settle over Anchorage Wednesday morning and again in the evening, according to a special weather statement from the agency.

The city saw significant snowfall Tuesday, with 6 to 9 inches of accumulation reported throughout the Anchorage Bowl and up to a foot on the Hillside by evening, said meteorologist Carson Jones. Locations in Mat-Su reported 3 to 8 inches, Jones said.

About 1.8 inches of new snow fell in Anchorage between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to the weather service, and just a trace amount was measured from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Nearly all schools in the city shifted to remote learning Wednesday.

“Due to hazardous road conditions across Anchorage, all ASD schools except Girdwood PreK-8 will switch to remote learning today. Girdwood School will be open for in-person learning,” the Anchorage School District said Wednesday morning.


After-school activities and community rentals were not canceled, the district announced at about noon.

The Anchorage Police Department reported 34 collisions, six involving injuries, and 48 vehicles in distress on Tuesday and another four non-injury collisions and 15 vehicles in distress Wednesday morning.

Drivers in Anchorage reported deep snow, narrow lanes and limited visibility Wednesday morning. The Department of Transportation described conditions as difficult. Blowing snow was expected to continue throughout the day, the weather service said.

Bands of moderate to heavy snow were also forecast for Wednesday over communities along Turnagain Arm and western Prince William Sound including Girdwood and Seward, according to a special weather statement.

The Copper River Basin and Thompson Pass received significant snowfall; the pass remained closed Wednesday due to avalanche hazard and the Richardson Highway was closed from Mile 12 to Mile 65.

State transportation officials in an update Wednesday said numerous natural avalanches still need to be cleared, and additional avalanche mitigation is necessary, before sections of the highway reopen. The road will open from Mile 12 to 19 first but the full pass is not expected to be opened until Thursday afternoon or evening, according to the update.

The Klondike Highway out of Skagway was also closed Wednesday due to heavy snowfall and inoperable snowblowers, according to a social media post by state transportation officials. Mechanics are trying to repair one snowblower and another will be ferried over from Haines on the Friday ferry.

Anchorage may get a snow break from Thursday morning to Friday morning or afternoon, Jones said. But another round of snow is expected over the weekend.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at