Snow and strong winds heading for much of Southcentral Alaska

Nov. 7—This story has been updated. Click here for the latest forecast.


A major winter storm could bring strong winds, up to a foot of snow, and possibly rain to a large swath of Southcentral Alaska starting Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Light snow is expected to start Tuesday night in Anchorage and the storm is predicted to continue through Thursday, according to a winter storm watch. Anchorage and the surrounding area will be impacted, along with much of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the western Kenai Peninsula.

Strong winds are expected to create blowing snow and low visibility in the Matanuska Valley through Cook Inlet, the watch said. Palmer and Wasilla could see gusts up to 40 mph, the weather service said.

There is still significant uncertainty in the forecast — the storm could either bring light snow, potentially mixed with rain, in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon, or it could bring heavy snow Wednesday afternoon and continue into the night or into Thursday, the weather service said.

If the storm brings heavy snow, more than a foot is possible in Anchorage, especially along the hillsides and Hiland Road area in Eagle River, the watch said. A foot or more of snow would be possible north of Palmer toward Chickaloon, the watch said.

Western Kenai Peninsula is expected to see significantly impact from the system, according to a winter weather advisory in effect 9 p.m. Tuesday until 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Gusty winds are expected in the area Tuesday evening and will be strongest along and near Cook Inlet, the advisory said. Snow is expected to fall near Anchor Point late Tuesday and spread north to Nikiski overnight, according to the weather service. Snow accumulations were forecast to be up to an inch.

Warming temperatures overnight will possibly cause the snow to change to rain before precipitation ends on Wednesday morning, the advisory said.

The additional snow and wind are forecast to arrive just days after the Anchorage area got hit with its first major snowfall of the season. The National Weather Service recorded a little over 6 inches of snow in the city by Sunday afternoon, which broke the previous Nov. 5 record of 3.8 inches set in 1964.

The snow that blanketed the city resulted in some challenging road conditions. The Anchorage Police Department responded to 28 vehicles in the ditch on Sunday, and 32 as of early Monday evening, according to spokesperson Kenny Friendly. Police also responded to 27 vehicle collisions on Sunday and 18 by Monday evening.