Update: This story has been updated with a new story on Sunday: New storm forecast to bring heavy snow to Anchorage, Kenai, Mat-Su
Anchorage is in for another round of snow this weekend even as it continues to recover from a three-day storm earlier this week, and much of Southcentral Alaska will fall under a winter storm warning or watch beginning Sunday.
Anywhere from 10 to 24 inches of heavy snow is expected across the region, according to National Weather Service updates Saturday afternoon. Many communities were set to see a first wave of snowfall before then, on Saturday night, before the snow picks up Sunday.
In the Anchorage area, the weather service said 10 to 14 inches of snow is possible by Monday afternoon, with 14 to 18 inches expected on the Anchorage Hillside Light snow should begin to fall over the Anchorage Bowl starting Sunday morning, with the heaviest snowfall coming overnight Sunday and into Monday morning, potentially snarling Monday’s commute.
A winter storm warning was also in place for the Matanuska Valley, including Palmer and Wasilla, calls for 10 to 15 inches of snow.
On the western and eastern Kenai Peninsula, a winter storm warning was in effect from overnight Saturday night through Monday morning. Forecasters warned that heavy snow could cause power outages and blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility, causing dangerous driving conditions.
For the western peninsula — including Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Cooper Landing — the weather service is forecasting 9 to 18 inches of snow, plus wind gusts of up to 35 mph. Heavier snowfall was expected along the coast of Cook Inlet from Kenai to Ninilchik.
The eastern peninsula and western Prince William Sound could receive anywhere between 10 and 24 inches of snow, along with wind gusts of up to 40 mph. That forecast includes Seward and Moose Pass, as well as Girdwood and Whittier. The National Weather Service noted that “highest snow amounts are expected from Portage Valley south to Summit Lake with lesser amounts for Seward.” At Turnagain Pass, the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center expected 2 to 4 feet of snow to fall through Monday afternoon, and said the storm could bring winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts of 60-plus mph, according to its avalanche forecast Saturday.
The weather service warned that the winds Sunday and Monday may cause blowing snow, making travel difficult on the Seward Highway between Girdwood and Whittier and through Turnagain Pass, where visibility may be reduced to a half-mile at times.
The new storm comes just days after much of Anchorage was walloped with 1 to 2 feet of snow, and as municipal and state snow clearing crews are still working to dig the city out with limited resources. Heavy snowfall and poor road conditions also prompted the Anchorage School District to close schools for three days in a row.