Snow dumped on Southcentral Alaska this weekend, with more than 8 inches falling in the Anchorage area and about 5 inches in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. A Climatologist says this weekend has led to a record amount of snowpack this late in the season.
Just this month, more than 23 inches of snow have fallen in Anchorage, 17.5 inches above normal. A weekend storm clogged Anchorage streets, creating hazardous road conditions. The Anchorage School District closed school buildings and canceled after-school activities, calling a remote learning day.
Anchorage and Mat-Su Borough schools and state offices are closed Thursday as a third major winter storm this month coated the area with snow overnight Wednesday. “In the past 11 days, we’ve had 41.1 inches of snow which is a lot for Anchorage,” Baines said.
All schools in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough are closed Wednesday due to slick roads across the region, as snowfall continues. “This is the heaviest snowfall the Anchorage area has seen in over 20 years,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Shelby. “Our crews are keeping up as best they can.”
October flew by leaving us with a couple of light snowfalls. November came around with something slightly more impressive, but it wasn't the same. Mid December decided to make up for all of the snowfalls that we missed all at once, it seems like.
Anchorage saw temperatures spike above 60 degrees every day in June for the first time in recorded history. The city also experienced near record low precipitation: Only 1/10 of an inch of rain fell the entire month.
The fire also comes as the state of Alaska enters its second highest level of fire preparedness, based on the high number of wildfires burning statewide and the possibility for more.
It’s not often that Southcentral Alaska residents wake to thunder in the middle of the night. But what forecasters are calling an unusual storm moved from the Talkeetna Mountains into the Matanuska Valley and then Anchorage and south to the Kenai Peninsula from Wednesday night into Thursday morning. At least one lightning-caused structure fire was reported.
In the past 10 years there have only been three other weeks where Anchorage was this cold during a seven day period. Those occurred in: January 2020, January 2012, and November 2011.
A storm that hit Southcentral Alaska on Saturday night led to flooding in Girdwood, a landslide on the Sterling Highway and left thousands of homes without power throughout the region on Sunday morning. More than a foot of rain fell in Girdwood by Sunday.
"The first snowfall of this year happened so early that the leaves on the trees had not fallen yet. The weight of the snow on top of the trees that had not shed their leaves caused the trees to incur damage."
Snow blanketed parts of Alaska’s largest city Tuesday morning, as Anchorage saw an early, though unofficial, first snowfall of the season. It's technically unofficial because none was reported at the National Weather Service’s official measuring spot on the city’s west side.
Buds are appearing right as we move into a 2-day cold spell of below zero nights. An adjacent willow budded a few weeks ago during a similar cycle of warmth followed by cold, and it appears to be putting some buds out, although on different branches.