Update 5 p.m. Monday: Downtown Juneau and Douglas continue to be hardest-hit by the storm, with an updated National Weather Service Juneau forecast at about 3:30 p.m. calling for four more inches of snow tonight, winds gusting to 60 mph and visibility of one-quarter mile or less at times.
Most government offices and facilities, including schools and the University of Alaska Southeast, were closed for some or all of Monday. A notice published during the afternoon by the city-contracted cold weather emergency shelter in Thane states the facility will be open and shuttles provided at the normally scheduled times.
“CBJ is coordinating snow plowing around the warming shelter tonight to prevent drifting from causing issues,” the notice states. “We will have our normal van runs starting at the Glory Hall at 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. tonight. Later night runs will be weather and road dependent. Anyone in need of a ride can call 907-419-7660 after 8:30 p.m. and arrangements will be made to get as many individuals in need to the shelter as safely as possible.”
Some businesses also closed or plan to close during the evening. Among them, Safeway posted a notice on a Juneau community Facebook page stating it will close at 8 p.m.
Update 1 p.m. Monday: The Juneau School District is closing schools for the day following lunch service, according to a notice posted shortly after 11 a.m.
“Due to increasing winds and blowing snow in much of the Juneau area, the district will be closing early,” the notice states.
“Parents are welcome to pick up their children from school as they make their way home. Otherwise, schools will get out early following lunch service, and buses will leave early. Neighborhood elementary schools will let out at 1 p.m. All optional programs and middle schools will let out at 1:30 p.m. High school students will get out at 2:15 p.m.”
All after-school activities and meetings were cancelled earlier in the day by the district.
The University of Alaska Southeast closed its campus buildings at 1 p.m.
The State of Alaska has also announced all of its executive branch offices in Juneau and Douglas are closed today “due to weather impacts on facilities.”
The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced in a Facebook post its offices and operations are closing after lunch Monday.
“Staff will continue to work remotely in the afternoon and operators will be available to field calls,” the post notes. “If you have an appointment with a case worker or any other staff member, those appointments will be rescheduled if needed.”
Bartlett Regional Hospital sent non-essential staff home, but “the hospital remains open and our facilities crew is hard at work keeping campus roads and walkways clear,” the hospital announced on its Facebook page. People wanting to reschedule appointments can call (907) 796-8900.
An alert has also been issued for the Thane Road Avalanche Zone by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
Strong winds combined with heavy snowfall at higher elevations will significantly increase the avalanche hazard above Thane Road the next few days,” the alert states. It also notes “if Thane Road becomes impassable due to avalanche debris, (DOT&PF) may be unable to clear the road promptly. Road clearing will only occur once the hazard has been sufficiently minimized through mitigation efforts or when the hazard naturally decreases.”
Update 10:30 a.m. Monday: The City and Borough of Juneau announced its offices and facilities downtown and in Douglas are closing at 11 a.m., due to the storm that expected to reach peak snow and wind levels during the afternoon and evening.
”Affected facilities include City Hall, the Downtown Juneau Public Library, Juneau-Douglas City Museum, Treadwell Arena, the Permit Center, and Zach Gordon Youth Center,” a notice posted at the CBJ website states. “Please use extreme caution while driving and avoid unnecessary travel whenever possible for the safety of yourself and others.”
Capital Transit is also implementing winter route changes until midnight Monday, according to a City and Borough of Juneau announcement. That means there will be no service on Cordova Street, so riders should wait for the bus at the Breeze Inn stop; and there is no service on Franklin or Fourth street, so those riders should wait for the bus at the Downtown Transit Center.
Brief power outages also were reported in parts of town Monday morning.
Original story: Juneau School District after-school activities, programs and meetings are being cancelled today due to a blizzard forecast for the city Monday, according to an announcement by the district.
Up to 14 inches of snow and winds gusting to 60 miles per hour are forecast by early Tuesday morning, according to a forecast issued at 6:05 a.m. Monday by the National Weather Service Juneau.
Public schools will be in session, but officials will monitor conditions throughout the day, the notice sent to parents at 6 a.m. states.
“The weather forecast is for conditions to worsen during the day, so the district will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with CBJ and DOT about area roads,” the notice states. “There is the potential that schools may be released early if necessary. Any changes to the school schedule today will be announced via phone call/text/email to families.”
The weather forecast calls for about eight inches of snow during the day Monday, another four inches — with rain in some areas — Monday night, and an additional two inches of snow mixed with rain Tuesday. The strongest winds are forecast for downtown Juneau and Douglas between midday and evening on Monday, with near-zero visibility expected at times.
Temperatures about expected to be in the 30s in most parts of town during the storm.
Similarly severe weather is being forecast for much of northern Southeast Alaska.