Early snow in Anchorage Thursday

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - While under cloudy skies Thursday Anchorage will see a high near 21 degrees.

A small but compact strong storm (39-54 mph winds) in the Gulf of Alaska is tracking from the southern Kenai coast eastward. Most of the snow is taking place east of Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. Strong winds out of the north have been supporting blowing and drifting snow along the Sterling Highway and across the Homer Bluff, which triggered Winter Weather Advisories that should expire early this morning (Thursday) as our winds weaken.

As the storm shifts east, more storm energy will move into the area from the west (from different storms) and more snow will move back into Anchorage and the Kenai as well as the Mat Valley, and will also become more widespread over the Copper River Basin, so more accumulations will occur through Thursday as the coldest air filters behind in behind the initial area of Arctic air. Storm force (39-54 mph) winds moving from the north and through the Barren Islands will accompany this, as well as strong and gusty gale force (39-54 mph) through favored gaps around Turnagain Arm, Portage Valley, and Seward. The winter weather advisory for blowing snow for the eastern Kenai stayed in effect for this reason.

High pressure will build into the area Friday morning, and with very cold air already present in the lower atmosphere, we can expect the coldest morning of the winter as all inland locations will drop below zero. High pressure and super cold temperatures will be short-lived as another storm moves inland, bringing accumulating snow to Kodiak Island and more snow to Southcentral on Friday afternoon and evening.

For the extended period, active storm tracks will continue to affect the region as another storm lifts north from the Pacific to Prince William Sound on Saturday. Bringing another round of snowfall to most areas, with some locations along the immediate Gulf Coast seeing rain. Snowfall should decrease by Sunday, as the region will be in between storms before the next one arrives on Sunday night into Monday. This system will bring more accumulating snowfall to the region.

Then another storm moves into the area for Monday night into Tuesday.

As warmer air moves up with these storms then we have freezing rain chances as well to add to the accumulating snowfall while precipitation could linger into Wednesday with these storms.

Cloudy skies Thursday in Anchorage with a high near 21 degrees with early snow showers in the 1-2" range tapering off this afternoon. Winds along Turnagain Arm as well as in higher elevations will be around 25 mph. Partly cloudy Thursday night but we drop down to 3 degrees with 15 mph winds out of the north.

Mostly sunny early on Friday but turning partly cloudy with a high of just 8 degrees. Mostly cloudy Friday night with winds out of the north at 15 mph.

Looking ahead, Saturday we will be mostly cloudy while we warm up to 12 degrees.

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