After an unusually warm fall with little or no snow, the Anchorage area saw its first measurable snow accumulation Saturday, with slick roads and several inches of accumulation around the city by late afternoon.
Several inches of snow to light dustings were reported across the Anchorage Bowl Saturday afternoon, with intermittent white-out conditions on the Glenn Highway, the weather service said. Snowfall was lightest in South Anchorage.
On-again, off-again snow showers could produce a total of 5 to 9 inches of snow in Anchorage, with the Hillside seeing even more snow, meteorologists from the National Weather Service said. The weather service was forecasting daytime highs in the mid-30s with overnight lows in the mid- to high-20s.
“A fast-moving, low-pressure system moving up the Cook Inlet is bringing moisture and cold air to the Anchorage area,” meteorologist Pam Szatanek said. She was excited about the large, quarter-sized snowflakes that had started falling near the weather service’s Anchorage office south of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
By around 6 p.m. Saturday, more than 5 inches of snow had fallen at the weather service’s office.
In Eagle River, 6 inches of snow fell before 5 p.m., according to a NWS spot report.
There was a slight chance of snow on Sunday, she said.
“People in Alaska have a recreational response to snow,” Szatanek said.
At 3 a.m., the temperature reached 45 degrees, which tied the daily record high set on Nov. 16, 1967, said NWS meteorologist Bob Clay. A brief southeast wind blew warm air from the Turnagain Arm into Anchorage early in Saturday morning, causing the temperature to rise, Clay said.
A second storm was expected to move into Southcentral Alaska over the next few days, Szatanek said. An eastward-traveling storm from the north Pacific Ocean will grow in intensity near Adak and will push into the Anchorage area Tuesday, she said.
It was too early to tell if the storm would bring more snow, freezing rain or a wintry mix, Szatanek said.