Anchorage could see up to 9 inches of snowfall overnight

The Anchorage Office of Emergency Management on Tuesday issued a winter weather advisory warning of between 5 to 9 inches of snow in the city by Wednesday morning.

The advisory goes into effect at 10 p.m. Tuesday and lasts for 12 hours. The snowfall could potentially impact travel with slick roads and limited visibility.

"Periods of snow will continue through this evening before becoming steadier and increasing in intensity by late evening," the advisory said. "The most intense snowfall is expected to occur from roughly midnight tonight through 9 a.m. Wednesday morning."

Light snow may continue through Wednesday afternoon, according to forecasters.

Anchorage and the Mat-Su received an initial dusting of snow early Tuesday from an expected two-day snow dump, with wrecks reported on the Glenn Highway, and forecasters were expecting several inches to fall by Wednesday evening.

Anchorage police dispatchers said rollover crashes and other wrecks were reported inbound on the Glenn during Tuesday's morning commute, but none with serious injuries. By 4:30 p.m., police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said there had been reports of 22 vehicles in distress, 29 crashes without injuries and five crashes with injuries around the city.

Dispatchers said roads throughout Anchorage were slick Tuesday morning, and rollovers had also been reported on Minnesota Drive and some side roads.


Shaun Baines, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Anchorage, said most areas of the city had received only minor amounts of snowfall early Tuesday, including seven-tenths of an inch in Eagle River.

"The snow we expect to move in by midday is still on schedule," Baines said. "Expect by midafternoon to see an increase."

The snowfall is being driven by a series of low-pressure systems moving north across the Gulf of Alaska and their paths as they move over land, Baines said.

"The sweet spot is Seward and western Prince William Sound," Baines said. "If they come that way, we get moisture and plenty of bands of heavy snow."

Overall, Baines said, the pattern could bring 4 to 8 inches of snow to the area.

"It sort of starts to break down during the day Wednesday," Baines said. "Things will really be starting to taper off Wednesday afternoon."

Chris Klint

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