The season's first snow greeted people downtown Wednesday, Nov. 10. Later that morning, forecasters at the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory, predicting that two to four inches of snow could fall on the capital city starting late Thursday night and into Friday morning. (Peter Segall/Juneau Empire)

Low-pressure system likely to bring snow to Juneau

That escalated quickly.

It’s time to dig out the snow shovel.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service have issued a winter weather advisory and say that 2-4 inches of snow could fall on the capital city starting late Thursday night and into Friday morning.

According to Greg Spann, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the Juneau office, residents can expect to wake up to snowy conditions Friday thanks to a band of precipitation powered by a low in the Gulf of Alaska that’s making its way north.

[An abbreviated cruise season by the numbers]

Spann said most of the snow would fall in the Northern Panhandle and primarily in Juneau in a Wednesday afternoon phone interview. He said the heaviest snow would fall during the overnight hours.

“A temperature swing of a few degrees could make a massive difference,” Spann said, explaining that slightly warmer temperatures could yield more rain, but falling mercury could mean more of the white stuff.

“If it gets colder, snow totals could be significantly higher,” Spann said, cautioning that it’s still too early to tell for sure how much snow could fall in that scenario.

Downtown and Douglas residents can also expect gale-force winds. Spann said winds wouldn’t be as strong in the Mendenhall Valley.

[Pausing to remember]

Spann suggested allowing extra commute time Friday morning and exercising caution on slick roads and sidewalks.

“We are in the part of the year without a lot of daylight, in the transition between autumn and winter,” Spann said. “Use caution and remember some places will be slippery, even if it doesn’t look like it.”

Spann said that current forecasts show clearing skies starting Sunday and potentially lasting through Tuesday.

“The downside of clear skies is chilly temperatures,” he said.

• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at or 907-308-4891.

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