Juneauites were out and about in the snow on 2nd Street in Douglas Wednesday, but the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for another storm Thursday morning which could bring up to two feet of snow in two days. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Juneauites were out and about in the snow on 2nd Street in Douglas Wednesday, but the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for another storm Thursday morning which could bring up to two feet of snow in two days. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

National Weather Service warns 2 feet of snow possible by weekend

Heavy snow and wind will make travel difficult

Heavy snow is expected in Southeast Alaska through Saturday according to the National Weather Service, which Wednesday issued a winter storm watch for as far north as Yakutat and as far south as Hyder.

Total snow accumulation is expected to be five to 12 inches on Thursday and eight to 16 inches on Friday, according to the notice, with snow continuing into Saturday and gusts of up to 35 mph.

“Travel could be very difficult due to hazardous conditions,” NWS said in the storm watch notice. “Heavy snow could be very difficult to manage.”

Alaska State Troopers help a driver at the intersection of Mendenhall Loop Road and Egan Drive on a snowy Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for Southeast Alaska where two feet of snow are expected by the weekend. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

The storm watch was is in effect from Thursday morning to late Friday night, the weather service said.

Multiple storms will impact the region through the early weekend and possibly into Saturday, NWS said, and specific snow totals will be dependent on factors such as wind and temperature. A transition to rain is possible for Juneau and the Icy Strait Corridor Saturday, according to NWS.

Wednesday’s snow was not the system the storm watch was issued for, said Kimberly Vaughan, a forecaster in the NWS Juneau office. There’s a second system currently over the Gulf of Alaska, Vaughan said, expected to arrive Thursday morning. It could bring two feet of snow in two days.

[Eaglecrest opening on hold till weather chills out]

But there’s also a lot of air moving around, and where that air moves — and when — will affect what kind of snow the region gets, Vaughan said. Warm air could potentially move into the Juneau area and turn snow into rain, she said, and the amount of snowfall is likely to make travel difficult.

“There’s certainly some uncertainty to this,” Vaughan said. “If that warm air pushes in sooner than expected, those snow amounts could change into rain.”

Snowfall at the Juneau airport for Dec. 1-15 this year has been 4.7 inches, below the average of 7.5 inches, Vaughan said. But while snowfall has been lower, rain during the same time period this year set a new record at 10.23 inches, well above the 3.02 average, she said. This year Juneau has received 75.12 inches of rain, above the 59.45 inch average but below the record of 83 inches, according to Vaughan. The weather service tracks snowfall by winter season according to Vaughan and begins measuring snowfall July 1. This year snowfall at the Juneau airport is average, 20.2 inches this season, just below the 20.5 inch average and well below the 1975 record of 86.4 inches.

The City and Borough of Juneau urged boat owners to check their vessels to prevent sinking due to excess snow accumulation, which CBJ Habormaster Matthew Creswell said could be up to 28 inches Friday and Saturday. Boat owners are urged to ensure mooring lines are secure, pumps are functional and that vessels are not accumulating excess snow or rainwater.

Juneauites were out and about in the snow on 2nd Street in Douglas Wednesday, but the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for another storm Thursday morning which could bring up to two feet of snow in two days. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Juneauites were out and about in the snow on 2nd Street in Douglas Wednesday, but the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for another storm Thursday morning which could bring up to two feet of snow in two days. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

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

More in News

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. A medical director at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control says the numbers of active COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern are higher than what has been publicly reported in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The most recent state and local figures.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, May 5, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Police blotter for Tuesday, May 4, 2021

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Dinner - Fiddlehead ferns, dandelion greens, fireweed greens, fireweed stalks, beach lovage, broccoli, bacon, onions, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper.
Planet Alaska: The fiddlehead forest

The versatile, verdant veggit.

Nora Baldwin, 8, a member of Girl Scout Troop 4009 carries a dirty shirt found on the side of Mendenhall Loop Road in between gloved fingers toward a litter bag on Saturday, May 1, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau has its pick of the litter

Many hands make litter work.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy (center) signs a proclamation ending the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration in the Alaska State Capitol on April 30, 2021. Dunleavy was joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla (left) DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum(right), and Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna(far right). (Courtesy Photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
State ends COVID-19 disaster status, says state in recovery

ANCHORAGE — Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday ended the state’s COVID-19 disaster… Continue reading

Gloria Bixby, a student-athlete at Juneau Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, slides safely into second base and avoids the tag from Thunder Mountain’s Jenna Dobson during the first inning of a drizzly Friday night game. With about three weeks left in the school year, the Juneau School District announced new COVID-19 protocols that let student-athletes compete without masks. The changes begin this week and were shared with families in an email Monday evening. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau schools update COVID policies

Mask and travel guidelines changed in light of evolving factors.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. A medical director at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control says the numbers of active COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern are higher than what has been publicly reported in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP
COVID at a glance for Friday, April 30

The most recent state and local figures.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, April 30, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read