Weather

Frigid start to March chills Anchorage like it's 1999

Anchorage saw its lowest March temperatures in almost two decades Tuesday, according to meteorologists, who say the clear-and-cold conditions are set to stay well into next week.

The National Weather Service said the morning temperature of 6 below zero at the official recording station, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, hasn't been seen in March since 1999. East Anchorage and Eagle River were in the minus teens Tuesday morning, according to an online map of area temperatures.

David Kochevar, a meteorologist at the Anchorage office, said it's nowhere near the record for March 7 — 24 below, set in 1971 — but the cold is likely to continue as inversions remain in place.

"It's just generating a cold plume of air that's over mainland Alaska," Kochevar said. "The coldest air is over Fairbanks and the Interior, but there's flow that's dragging some of that over Southcentral."

On the warmer side, Kochevar said, the sunny days mean wider winter swings between the cold overnight lows and typical temperatures once the sun comes up.

"There's not a lot of change to that," Kochevar said. "The next few nights we'll be getting to around zero, but with the long days and the sun we'll be getting to about 20 (degrees) during the daytime."

The Weather Service isn't expecting any significant changes in the pattern until at least the end of next week, Kochevar said.

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