Anchorage sets new record for getting an inch of snow this late in the season

Melting snow dusts homes along a street in Anchorage’s Jewel Lake area on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Chris Klint/Alaska Public Media)

A dusting of late-season snow overnight Wednesday left Anchorage an inch closer to its all-time snow record — but meteorologists don’t expect it to be broken.

Michael Kutz with the National Weather Service said 1 inch of snow had fallen at the official measuring station near the Anchorage airport by Thursday morning. More snow fell at higher elevations, with 3 inches reported on the Anchorage Hillside.

The snow, he said, was part of a weather system expected to bring mixed snow and rain to the region this week.

“We had some colder air moving in from the north, mixing in with the moisture coming up from the south,” he said. “And we just happen to be where they came together.”

Kutz said that it’s not uncommon for Anchorage to see sporadic snowfall in May, and that Thursday’s snow is not the latest ever recorded in the season. It does mark the latest date on which Alaska’s largest city has received an inch or more of snow, breaking the previous record set on May 6, 1955.

The weather service says periods of snow may continue in parts of Southcentral Alaska through Friday morning, particularly in higher elevations like Turnagain Pass and Hatcher Pass, as well as on the Anchorage and Eagle River hillsides, which could see an additional 2 to 4 inches. Up to an inch of additional snow is possible at lower elevations. It’s not likely to stick on local roads, according to Kutz, due to the warming weather.

“Fortunately, the roadways are warmer or above freezing,” he said. “So aside of maybe a little slush or something, that’ll be about it on the roadways.”

Another light snowfall last month pushed Anchorage into second place for its highest recorded winter snowfall ever, behind the record of 134.5 inches set during the winter of 2011-2012. With Thursday’s snow, Kutz said the city stands at 133.3 inches of snowfall, just over an inch away from the snowiest year.

Asked if he thinks Anchorage still has a chance of breaking the record so late in the season, Kutz said “it’s going to be close” but laughed at the possibility.

“I think we’re going to have a firm hold on second place,” he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated this winter’s total snowfall. It is 133.3 inches, not 133.8 inches.

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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