Another storm brings more snow to Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Mat-Su

Update, 7:25 a.m. Monday:

The state of Alaska has announced all state offices in Anchorage, Mat-Su and Kenai/Soldotna are closed Monday due to the snowy weather. The only employees required to work are those in jobs involving health and safety such as certain positions in public safety and corrections or at Alaska Pioneer Homes and other 24-hour facilities.

The Anchorage School District closed schools for a fourth day Monday; students in Mat-Su shifted to remote learning.

Original story:

Anchorage and much of Southcentral Alaska was hit Sunday with another round of heavy snow, this time with gusty winds.

Most of the region was under winter storm warnings on Sunday, with between 10 to 24 inches of snow expected in Anchorage, on the Kenai Peninsula and in the Matanuska Valley, according to National Weather Service.

Scattered power outages were reported throughout the region Sunday evening, including several hundred customers in the Mat-Su.


In the Mat-Su Borough, school officials said Sunday evening that schools will be closed Monday to in-person classes. “All schools will have remote learning day Monday...due to the winter storm that has brought poor visibility, snow drifts and is forecasted to bring widespread heavy snowfall throughout the evening and early morning creating hazardous road conditions,” the district wrote.

In the Anchorage area, the weather service said 12 to 16 inches of snow is possible by Monday afternoon, with 16 to 20 inches expected on the Anchorage Hillside and in Eagle River. The heaviest snowfall Sunday night and into Monday morning, potentially snarling Monday’s commute.

Gusts up to 30 mph are possible, the weather service said, and by early evening snow was blowing and drifting throughout the city. The snow was expected to intensify overnight, the weather service said.

A winter storm warning was also in place for the Matanuska Valley, including Palmer and Wasilla, calls for 10 to 15 inches of snow with gusts to 30 mph.

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.

On Sunday afternoon, scattered power outages were affecting various Southcentral communities. About 30 customers were without power in the Anchorage area, according to the Chugach Electric outages map. In Mat-Su, outages picked up after 4 p.m., with more than 500 customers being without power, according to the Matanuska Electric Association. More than 250 customers were affected by outages on the Kenai Peninsula, according to the Homer Electric Association.

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.

Related stories:

Anchorage pedestrians navigate a post-snowstorm obstacle course

Anchorage digs out from heavy snowfall with graders and mechanics in short supply

‘Stoke level is high’: A dump of new snow brightens the outlook for winter recreation around Anchorage

One reason for snow plow delays? Poor planning and preparation in City Hall, say elected officials

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