Heavy rain and snow fell on the Mike Pusich Douglas Harbor on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 and is expected to continue through the week, according to the National Weather Service. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Heavy rain and snow fell on the Mike Pusich Douglas Harbor on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 and is expected to continue through the week, according to the National Weather Service. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Juneau records 2nd snowiest early winter in 20 years

Snow and rain to continue

Juneau is experiencing its second-snowiest early winter season in 20 years, according to the National Weather Service in Juneau.

In the period between Nov. 1-Dec. 7, 2021, the NWS office in the Mendenhall Valley recorded 56.8 inches of snow, the second snowiest since the office began measuring the snow in 2001, according to NWS meteorologist Cody Moore.

“We’re definitely above average right now,” Moore said in a phone interview with the Empire Wednesday. “It’s exceptionally snowy for the beginning of winter. It’s rare to get this much snow this early in the season.”

Precipitation records at the Juneau International Airport date back to mid-20th century, Moore said and received 44.4 inches of snow in the Nov. 1-Dec. 7, time period Moore said.

Airport manager Patty Wahto said the weather hadn’t impacted operations at the airport, but crews were busy doing snow removal around the clock.

[More rain, snow and overnight ice expected]

The National Weather Services issued additional weather advisories Wednesday, as heavy precipitation continues to move through Southeast Alaska.

NWS issued a winter weather advisory for Juneau early Wednesday morning through 7 p.m. that evening, saying 2 inches of snow had already fallen and roads were slippery — potentially impacting evening commutes. At the same time NWS Juneau issued a special weather statement about continued precipitation through the week.

“Another winter storm could threaten the capital city Thursday night through Friday morning,” the NWS said in a special weather statement. “Some scenarios present the possibility of another 4-8 inches of snowfall. However, southerly winds could bring in warmer air and a transition to rain, especially early Friday morning.”

With the temperature hovering right around freezing, precipitation would likely remain a mix of snow and rain, according to Moore.

“Thursday-Friday will be right on that line,” Moore said of the near-freezing temperature. “Typically the snow will be pretty wet.”

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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