This story has been updated to include the latest National Weather Service advisory information for Anchorage and blizzard warnings for the Girdwood, Portage Valley, Whittier Turnagain Pass areas.
This weekend’s late-season storm is on track to bring significant snowfall to Anchorage and surrounding areas, according to the National Weather Service.
In Anchorage, where light snow fell much of Saturday, a total of between 4 and 11 inches of snow total was expected to fall by late afternoon Sunday. The heaviest was expected in East Anchorage, Eagle River and on the Hillside, with between 3 and 7 inches of new accumulation on Sunday, the weather service said. The snow was expected to continue into the evening, the weather service said in an updated advisory.
Gusts to 20 mph could produce blowing snow and drifting, the weather service said.
Heavier snow was expected south of the city in the Portage Valley and Whittier areas and the eastern part of the Kenai Peninsula, with a blizzard warnings in effect. It was snowing heavy in the Girdwood area.
Between 8 to 15 inches of additional snow was expected, along with gusts to 40 mph.
The low-pressure system moving from the Gulf of Alaska was also bringing snow to Indian, Eklutna, Palmer, Wasilla, Sutton and Chickaloon through Sunday, with heaviest snowfall expected late Saturday night through Sunday morning, the weather service said.
Most of those areas were expected to see less snow than Anchorage, between 2 and 4 inches, said Lawson.
Lawson said that this year’s above-average snowpack in Anchorage could lead to later melting periods than is typical.
“We still have at least 2 feet of snow on the ground here in Anchorage,” he said. “Barring significant warmup, we have a chance that our snow could be on the ground at least into May.”
Prolonged winter weather in much of Alaska prompted state officials this week to extend the deadline for drivers to remove studded tires by 15 days — to May 1 in Southeast Alaska, the Aleutian chain, the southern Kenai Peninsula and other areas south of 60 degrees north latitude, and May 15 for other parts of the state above that latitude. Anchorage followed suit, with studded tires illegal to use in the municipality starting May 15 this year.