Surprise snow dump closes Anchorage schools Wednesday

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Snow falls on the Seward Highway near Huffman Road early on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023 in a state road camera image. (From

Most Anchorage schools are closed Wednesday due to poor road conditions, after an overnight snowstorm dumped at least half a foot of snow on much of the city.

According to the Anchorage School District Wednesday is a remote learning day, with only the Girdwood School open for in-person classes. By 8:30 a.m., Anchorage police reported 15 stranded vehicles as well as four non-injury collisions.

The National Weather Service had expected the storm to bring four to eight inches of snowfall starting Tuesday, but meteorologist Carson Jones said Wednesday morning that the storm brought six to nine inches of snow across town, with nearly a foot falling on parts of the Upper Hillside.

“The bulk of that fell before 8 or 9 p.m., and then we had an additional one to two inches overnight,” Jones said.

The unexpected intensity of the storm was due to a change in its path, Jones said, which computer models had projected as passing farther east of town. Instead it entered western Prince William Sound, which Jones called “the sweet spot” for generating snow in Anchorage.

“It was almost a 5 to 7 percent chance of the storm taking that track and it did,” Jones said.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for an additional two to six inches of fine powder falling as flurries in Anchorage, Jones said, which will likely cling to cars and affect visibility on local roads. Snowfall should taper off for Thursday and much of Friday, but another storm system will likely arrive in the area Friday night.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Chris here.

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