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Not a dream: Eureka Lodge awakes to ‘very unusual’ late-spring dump of snow

Posted by Eureka Lodge on Monday, June 11, 2018

People at Eureka Lodge woke to an unpleasant but probably brief return of winter Monday morning.

The lodge got 6 to 8 inches of snow, owner Darla Fimpel said by phone. Unfortunately.

"Hopefully it will warm up by tonight and go away," Fimpel said.

It was still snowing Monday morning, though, and an employee had started on a snowman.

State plows cleared the Glenn Highway around the lodge, she said. The snow seemed to be isolated to within 10 miles of the restaurant and hotel at Mile 128 of the highway that stretches from Anchorage northeast to Glennallen.

The lodge sits above 3,000 feet, high enough that June snows aren't out of the ordinary.

"The first week in June it's not unlikely for us to get an inch of snow," Fimpel said. "But this much snow is very unusual."

Almost mid-June is technically still spring — and this is Alaska, after all.

"If they were to get that in July, that would be a huge deal," said Bill Ludwig, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage. "It's kind of unusual to get that much this time of year but obviously it's not entirely impossible."

Ludwig said the Weather Service hadn't called their observers in the area. But he'd seen the same gasp-inducing photos from the lodge making the rounds on social media Monday morning.

Higher elevations in the area got "some decent snow" as a cold front rolled through Sunday night, he said.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities reported winter weather on the Tok Highway and eastern side of the Glenn on a Facebook post Monday that started out, "Happy June, Alaska!"

The agency also reported snowy, icy conditions on the Dalton Highway.

The forecast should bring relief: A little more snow Monday morning, then higher temperatures return.

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