Cold snap will come with subzero wind chills in Anchorage area

Plummeting temperatures paired with northerly winds are expected to throw Southcentral Alaska into a brief cold snap starting Wednesday.

The weather service cautioned that it may feel as cold as 20 to 40 degrees below zero throughout the region through Thursday morning as an arctic airmass moves over the area. The forecast is calling for sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to 30 mph, which will make it feel much colder, National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Morgan said.

Such cold winds can cause frostbite on exposed skin within minutes. Morgan advised limiting time outdoors and exposure to the cold and said drivers should carry emergency supplies.

In the Anchorage area, low temperatures are forecast to drop into the single digits Wednesday and go subzero Friday and Saturday nights. But winds will subside on Thursday and Friday.

Wind-chill temperatures will be the lowest over mountain passes while coastal communities such as Seward and Whittier will likely see higher temperatures, but potentially with wind gusts up to 60 mph, the statement said.

The temperatures expected through the weekend are roughly 15 to 20 degrees below average for this time of year, Morgan said. It’s unlikely Anchorage will drop below record low temperatures for the week, which ranged from minus 15 to minus 22 in 1956, he said.

The region saw a notable cold snap in late January and early February, when temperatures plunged to more than 20 degrees below zero in Anchorage and Mat-Su and below minus 50 in Interior Alaska.

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