Anchorage cold snap expected to continue through month’s end

Anchorage temperatures are forecast to stay below zero in coming days, continuing a cold pattern that’s also occurring in much of the state.

Temperatures over the weekend could drop to 20 below in Anchorage and the Mat-Su, according to the National Weather Service.

Such temperatures are well below average but not record-breaking, said state climatologist Brian Brettschneider. Anchorage is, however, seeing some of the coldest temperatures of the last few years, he said.

“These are temperatures that used to occur several days per winter, maybe three to 10 days per winter, but now they’re maybe one day per winter, one day every other winter with the warming temperatures,” he said.

[Photos: Finding beauty in the deep freeze]

Other areas of Alaska are also seeing dramatic cold -- Interior temperatures dropped to 55 below zero and lower this week and the weather service issued a wind chill advisory for much of Southwest Alaska, where temperatures with wind chill were expected to be 65 below zero through Sunday.

The extreme cold can cause frostbite on exposed skin in only five minutes, the weather service warned.


[Anchorage officials say up to 1,000 commercial buildings at risk of roof collapse, and urge homeowners to clear snow too]

The cold weather is expected to slowly warm and transition to normal temperatures within about 10 days, Brettschneider said. Normal high temperatures for Anchorage during this time of year are in the mid-20s, he said.

Cold snaps like this are less likely to happen in Anchorage in February because of increasing sunshine, he said.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at