Above zero today but back to reality overnight

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - While under sunny skies Thursday Anchorage will see a high near 2 degrees.

Cold air continues to pile up in the Copper River Basin while moving through the usual gaps and passes along the northern Gulf coast. This has allowed for strong wind gusts through the Valdez coastal waters, Thompson Pass and the Copper River Delta. Strong wind gusts out of the north have also persisted through Passage Canal and Resurrection Bay.

By Thursday night, the Mat-Su Valley will likely see winds out of the northeast through the usual gaps as the atmospheric pressure differences increase between high pressure to the north and the low-pressure storms to the south. The cold temperatures combined with the strong winds will keep a Wind Chill Advisory in effect for Thompson Pass-through Noon on Friday as the wind chill effect on temperatures may drop them to 50 degrees below zero at times.

The next storm moving across the Gulf on Thursday still looks to be tracking farther south and for the most part out of range for the Alaskan Mainland. The close enough proximity though should keep gap flow winds going (increasing again) through the Valdez coastal waters and Copper River Delta through Friday afternoon.

For the extended period, we are still looking at a low-pressure storm moving across the Bering Sea Friday and Saturday delivering warmer air to the mainland over the weekend. At this point, the high-pressure system sitting over the state might be too strong to relinquish the cold air mass locked in place. So we will warm up as these storms moderate our cold air mass but just not as significant as we expected just a few days ago. So we stay cold, especially in the Copper River Basin, just not record-breaking cold.

Most of Southcentral will stay above zero while the Copper River Basin only sees high temps in the -10 below range but low temps in the -30 below range. West of the Alaska Range, the warmer air will have much more of an effect, with temperatures in Southwest Alaska warming into the mid 20's in some spots. Also, warm, moist air associated with these storms will bring a chance of snow for Southwest Alaska and the Lower Kuskokwim Valley on Saturday.

After Saturday, the next low to move through gets close to the Aleutians and then traverses eastward across the Gulf of Alaska. The impact most likely will not be snow but the pressure differences in result of the frontal passing will keep those winds moving down from the north and into the passes, bays and mountain gaps. Other then the winds, conditions look to be quiet to start off next week.

Sunny skies in Anchorage on Thursday with early areas of freezing fog before we warm up to a high of 2 degrees while patchy fog lasts this afternoon as well. We are looking at variable 10 mph winds while temps drop on Thursday night down to -10 degrees along with more areas of freezing fog.

Early areas of freezing fog while under sunny skies on Friday in Anchorage while we warm up to 0 degrees for a high temperature. Friday night will be clear with areas of freezing fog as we drop down to 11 degrees below zero.

Looking ahead, Saturday we will be sunny early before turning partly cloudy while we warm up to 4 degrees above zero for a high temperature.

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