Southcentral Alaska can expect lower temperatures and sunny conditions this week after experiencing above-normal temperatures earlier this month.
“We’re just having some sunnier weather and clear skies, which allows us to clear out and cool off,” said Eddie Zingone, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage. “We have been above normal with our temperatures the last couple of weeks here.”
In Anchorage, high temperatures in the upper teens on Sunday and Monday will be followed by a forecast high around 8 degrees Tuesday. Low temperatures are forecast to be in the single digits or below zero at least through Wednesday, Weather Service meteorologist Pamela Szatanek said. The lowest temperature for Anchorage this week, about 4 degrees below zero, is expected Tuesday night.
“This is gonna be a real taste of winter,” Szatanek said.
Similar conditions are expected in the Mat-Su this week.
The cold, clear weather in Southcentral will coincide with higher-than-usual aurora activity expected this week, according to the Geophysical Institute forecast. The Kp index, which corresponds to the disturbance of the Earth’s magnetic field caused by solar wind, will remain at or above 4 — reflecting the potential for active aurora displays — through Friday morning.
The forecast shows a Kp index of 5, reflecting high aurora activity, for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
“It’s been really active lately,” Szatanek said about aurora activity. “A lot of space weather scientists have been predicting that this was going to be an active year for auroras.”
After a cold spell this week, the Anchorage area is forecast to warm to above-normal temperatures again in a week or two, Zingone said.
Other regions of Alaska were forecast to receive snow early this week, including King Salmon and other parts of Bristol Bay, Kodiak Island and the Kuskokwim River Delta. In the Anchorage Bowl, snow is not expected at least until Thursday, Szatanek said.
“Climate-wise, I can tell you right now we need it,” Szatanek said about snowfall. “We are behind on snowpack.”