Strong winds and spring snow sweep into Southcentral Alaska

Parts of Southcentral Alaska, including Anchorage, can continue to expect strong winds and a moderate amount of snowfall through Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

A storm system was expected to bring 1 to 3 inches of snow and gusts to 60 mph in the Anchorage Bowl on Sunday morning, the weather service said. The heaviest snow was forecast for the Anchorage Hillside and the Mat-Su, especially north and east of Palmer.

A high wind warning for Anchorage expired at 10 a.m.

Hundreds of dwellings in Anchorage and Mat-Su were without power after 9 a.m. on Sunday. Chugach Electric Association reported 283 outages, the majority of them in the Tyonek and DeBarr areas. Matanuska Electric Association reported 336, most of them in Petersville and Talkeetna.

At Hatcher Pass, the strong winds and new snow Saturday were expected to bring increased avalanche risk by Sunday morning, according to the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center, which described the potential for a foot or more of additional snowfall Sunday into Monday.

Farther south at Turnagain Pass, the risk of natural and human-triggered avalanches was considered high in upper elevations Saturday due to strong winds and heavy snowfall, according to the avalanche forecast issued by the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

Avy Update - March 30, 2024: Avalanche danger is HIGH above 2500' today. Strong winds and heavy snowfall will rapidly...

Posted by Friends of the Chugach Avalanche Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024

“Strong winds and heavy snowfall will rapidly increase the avalanche danger throughout the day. Coastal areas like Portage and Placer could receive up to 2-3′ of new snow, which is very likely to cause large natural avalanches,” the center wrote in a social media post Saturday. “We recommend taking a close look at how well the new snow is bonding to the old snow surface and using conservative decision-making today.”

Closer to Valdez, a winter weather advisory for significant snowfall and blowing snow was in place for Thompson Pass, and moderate to heavy snow was forecast in the Copper River Basin.