The first snow of the season covers Juneau on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Angelo Saggiomo | Juneau Empire)

The first snow of the season covers Juneau on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Angelo Saggiomo | Juneau Empire)

Friday’s snowfall was normal, and that’s unusual

Juneau’s first snowfall of the season brought 3.5 inches of heavy, wet flakes to Juneau International Airport on Friday, according to measurements taken by the National Weather Service.

More snow was recorded in the Mendenhall Valley; less fell downtown and in other portions of the city. Friday’s snowfall was followed by a trace of additional snowfall on Saturday and nine-tenths of an inch on Sunday.

At the Weather Service forecasting office in the Valley, instruments measured 6.7 inches of snow. Snettisham power plant had the highest measurement in the borough, at 9.5 inches.

How much snow did Southeast Alaska receive in Friday's storm? Take a look. #Juneau #Haines#AKwx pic.twitter.com/tqmrfKObIR

— NWS Juneau (@NWSJuneau) November 11, 2017

In West Juneau, 2.8 inches was reported. At the base of Eaglecrest, 4 inches was measured.

Elsewhere, 4.7 inches of snow was measured in Haines. Pelican had 2.8 inches and Skagway had 1.5. Gustavus had an inch, and both Hoonah and Yakutat had half an inch of snow.

On average, Juneau’s first snowfall comes Nov. 4. That’s the first trace as measured at the airport, where the Weather Service has recorded precipitation since 1936. The city’s first inch of snow averages Nov. 10.

The city’s earliest snowfall was Oct. 2, 2000, and its latest first snowfall came on Dec. 14 in 2002. Last year, six-tenths of an inch of snow fell on Oct. 15. That was the first time since 1940 that Juneau had snow before Fairbanks or Anchorage.

Through Monday, Juneau has had 4.4 inches of snow, almost exactly average for this point in the season. (Normal snowfall is 4.3 inches by this date.)

Juneau averages 86.7 inches of snow per winter, but recent winters have finished well below that figure. Not since the winter of 2013-2014 has the capital city seen a winter with normal snowfall.

No additional snow is expected this week, but the already-fallen snow is expected to stick around. Temperatures are forecast to remain well below normal for November, with highs in the mid-to-upper 20s and nightly lows in the upper teens to low 20s.

The next chance of snow is expected over the weekend, and high winds will persist throughout the week, particularly within the valleys leading inland.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


National Weather Service snowfall totals for Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. (National Weather Service graphic)

National Weather Service snowfall totals for Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. (National Weather Service graphic)

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