NOAA: 1st Accumulating Snowfall Forecast for Alaska | 6″+ of Snow

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Skier Scott Rich finding a deep pocket in the trees on tuesday Dec. 2nd 2014. Photographer: Corey Anderson
Skier Scott Rich finding a deep pocket in the trees on tuesday Dec. 2nd 2014. Photographer: Corey Anderson

NOAA’s Alaska branch just announced that they’re expecting the first accumulating snowfall for Alaska tomorrow and tomorrow night.  This storm will affect a very large area of Alaska, will drop up to 6″ of snow or more in the higher elevations and will have snow levels as low as sea level by tomorrow night.

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Yes, this this is a very early first accumulating snowfall, even for Alaska:

REGARDLESS…EVEN THE POTENTIAL FOR SUCH AN EARLY SEASON ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL IS SOMEWHAT RARE. FOR HISTORICAL CONTEXT...THE EARLIEST RECORDED MEASURABLE SNOWFALL AT THE ANCHORAGE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (GREATER THAN A TRACE) WAS THE 21ST OF SEPTEMBER 1996 (A TENTH OF AN INCH OF SNOW FELL THAT DAY).” – NOAA Alaska

The one-day snowfall record for September in Anchorage is 6 inches, which fell Sept. 25, 2004.  Fairbanks, AK just had their heaviest on-day September snowfall on record after getting 6.7 inches of snow last Friday.

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We’ve already heard stories and seen photos of people skiing and riding very deep powder in the eastern Alaska range this month…

We’ve got our fingers crossed for another banger season in Alaska and we’re planning on heading back up there this April.

NOAA’s SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT:

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ANCHORAGE AK
556 AM AKDT MON SEP 28 2015

ANCHORAGE-MATANUSKA VALLEY-WESTERN KENAI PENINSULA-SUSITNA VALLEY-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...ANCHORAGE...EAGLE RIVER...INDIAN...
EKLUTNA...PALMER...WASILLA...SUTTON...CHICKALOON...KENAI...
SOLDOTNA...HOMER...COOPER LANDING...TALKEETNA...WILLOW...CANTWELL
556 AM AKDT MON SEP 28 2015

...THE SEASONS FIRST ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL EXPECTED TUESDAY AND
TUESDAY NIGHT...

A STRONG COLD FRONT MOVING INTO SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA TUESDAY WILL
LIKELY BRING IN THE SEASONS FIRST ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL TO MOST
OF THE REGION. AREAS NEAR SEA LEVEL WILL LIKELY SEE RAIN IN THE
MORNING THAT MIXES WITH SNOW IN THE AFTERNOON WITH THE ARRIVAL OF
THE COLD AIR. ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL WILL LIKELY NOT BEGIN UNTIL
LATE AFTERNOON OR EARLY EVENING FOR LOWER ELEVATION AREAS.

AT ELEVATIONS FROM 1000 TO 2000 FEET AND HIGHER THE RAIN WILL
LIKELY TURN TO SNOW BY EARLY AFTERNOON AND THEN BEGIN TO
ACCUMULATE SHORTLY AFTER THAT. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR THESE
HIGHER ELEVATION AREAS TO SEE 6 INCHES OF SNOW OR EVEN MORE BEFORE
SNOW TAPERS OFF TO SNOW SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT TUESDAY NIGHT.

THERE WILL ALSO BE SOME GUSTY NORTH TO NORTHWEST WINDS IN THE
SNOWFALL. THIS MAY RESULT IN PERIODS OF GREATLY REDUCED
VISIBILITY DUE TO BLOWING SNOW...ESPECIALLY AT THE HIGHER
ELEVATIONS.

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