Weather

With snow in the Southcentral Alaska forecast, winter may stick around a little longer

Clear skies and rising daytime temperatures may have Southcentral residents hoping the end of winter is near, but a changing forecast could dash any dreams of spring.

Matthew Clay, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Anchorage office, said chances for snow Tuesday stood at 60 percent.

"We are now in the midst of a pattern change — you can see the cloud cover starting to fill in across the region," Clay said. "Starting tomorrow morning, we are looking at snowfall across the Anchorage Bowl into the Mat-Su."

Meteorologist Sam Albanese said 1 to 2 inches may fall in Anchorage by late afternoon Tuesday. Heavier snowfall is forecast to begin around the time of the evening commute, with a total accumulation of 3 to 5 inches by Tuesday night.

Another inch of snow is expected on Wednesday, he said.

Lead forecaster Shaun Baines said the last snowfall in Anchorage was a fifth of an inch on Feb. 27. He said Tuesday's expected snow wasn't unusual for a city that has seen its final winter snowfall as early as March 17 in 1978 and as late as May 22 in 1964.

"Certainly snow in late March and early April is not unusual," Baines said. "I think what will hit people this time is that we've just had three weeks of completely sunny skies."

Drivers who have grown accustomed to ice-free roads should be ready to adjust, Clay said.

"Snow will be starting to build on the roadways for the afternoon commute — luckily we've cleaned off the roads with the last two weeks of nice weather," Clay said.

"It looks like by Thursday morning we should be starting to clear out a bit," Clay said. "It'll still be cloudy, but the snowfall should largely be over by Thursday morning."

Anchorage's total snowfall for this winter as of Sunday was 72.1 inches, just above the average of 68.8 inches by the same date.

 

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.

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