It’s official: Anchorage records its first snowfall of the season

Snow gathers on trees on Oct. 14, 2021, this season’s first official snowfall in Anchorage. (Wesley Early/AKPM)

Anchorage officially saw its first snowfall of the season on Thursday with about an inch of snow collecting at the National Weather Service’s measuring station on the west side of the city.

The snow started early Thursday morning, around 4 a.m., said Pam Szatanek, a weather service meteorologist. 

“We started out with a rain-snow mix and then it changed over,” Szatanek said. “So right now on the ground, we have about an inch.”

While some parts of Anchorage received more than 14 inches of snow in late September, the weather service’s measuring station near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport got barely a trace. And that’s where official weather measurements are taken. So, Thursday will technically be counted as Anchorage’s first snowfall of the season.

Szatanek said the snow Thursday was spread pretty evenly throughout Anchorage.

“We’re still getting the storm reports in but what we currently have is: 1 inch for Eagle River and 1 inch for Hillside,” Szatanek said around 2 p.m. Thursday. “The amounts have been, so far, low.”

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Szatanek said there’s a low weather front over Prince William Sound and that’s forming bands of moisture that are coming up the Turnagain Arm. 

“It’s over Portage and Girdwood right now and that one is actually headed toward Anchorage,” Szatanek said. “We are expecting it to get back up into the 40s after this event. So we do think the snow will melt.”

The weather forecast for Thursday calls for 1 to 3 inches of total snow accumulation. Szatanek said Anchorage should see dry conditions this weekend.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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