Freezing rain causes hazardous driving conditions in the Anchorage area

Freezing rain on Monday created slippery roads and dangerous driving conditions in Anchorage and the surrounding area.

The National Weather Service, in a winter weather advisory in effect through late Monday night, cautioned of hazardous conditions and a light glaze on roadways in Anchorage, Eagle River, Indian and Eklutna.

The first reports of freezing rain came in late Sunday night on the Anchorage Hillside and out of Eagle River, said meteorologist Ray Christensen with the National Weather Service office in Anchorage. The west side of the city started seeing a drizzle early Monday morning.

By 10 a.m. Monday, Anchorage reported between 1/100 to 1/10 of an inch of freezing rain, the weather service reported.

The freezing rain led to the formation of black ice or an icy glaze on roads, with conditions likely worse on the Anchorage Hillside and along the Seward Highway, Christensen said.

“It looks like on the Hillside, they had a little bit more (rain), so the roads are probably a little bit worse up there,” he said. “Down in town, we just had a couple of hundredths, so not as bad.”

After Monday, temperatures are expected to drop in the Anchorage area.


“It will get colder, a little bit colder, so any precipitation we get after midnight tonight into Tuesday and Wednesday will be just light snow,” Christensen said. “Although we’re not really looking at a whole lot — there might be just a few little flurries.”

Monday’s freezing rain adds to a wave of challenges Anchorage drivers have faced on local roadways after a series of heavy snowstorms earlier this month nearly overwhelmed road maintenance efforts. Snow from those storms is being hauled away by state and municipal operators.

On the Western Kenai Peninsula, some communities — Including Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Cooper Landing — were expected to develop steadier freezing rain by early Tuesday morning, according to a winter weather advisory in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday. That precipitation is then expected to turn into snow, with an accumulation of 1 to 4 inches possible by Tuesday night.