Flooding May Come To Copper Valley As Temps Bottom Out, Says National Weather Service

The Paradox Of Extreme Cold In Alaska... Flooding Due To Small Ice Dams  Weather Service Photo Of Flooding On Chester Creek In Anchorage  RE...

The Paradox Of Extreme Cold In Alaska...

Flooding Due To Small Ice Dams 

Weather Service Photo Of Flooding On Chester Creek In Anchorage 

JANUARY 24TH, 2024 

Colder temperatures have settled into Cook Inlet and the Copper River Basin. Ice formation associated with the cold temperatures has the potential to form small ice dams. Ice dams and high water have been observed on Chester Creek and Ship Creek and can be expected on other streams throughout the region that still have sections of open water through Sunday. High water will be very localized and difficult to pin point. Please monitor local conditions especially at known trouble spots. Report elevated water levels or ice jams to the Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center at: nws.ar.aprfc@noaa.gov

An end to the recent stretch of dry and mostly clear weather is now in sight for parts of our region as we transition into a much more active pattern across the southern Mainland at the end of the week.

A reinforcing shot of extremely cold, Arctic air is expected to arrive later this weekend and spread south into much of Southwest Alaska through early next week, ushering in temperatures even colder than what we’ve seen over the past several days along with potentially dangerously low wind chills and potential for heavy to extreme freezing spray rates spreading over marine areas from the ice edge south to the Alaska Peninsula.

To the east over Southcentral, temperatures will stay below average for the next several days. However, the bigger story will be the return of snowfall chances as early as Saturday as the cold air to the west interacts with warmer air moving up into the Gulf of Alaska. 

Multiple low pressure systems will move up along this frontal zone into the coast between this weekend and early next week as moisture streams north towards the north Gulf Coast. 

This will likely bring a prolonged period of moderate to heavy snowfall across the eastern half of Southcentral, including the eastern Prince William Sound and much of the Copper River Basin. Forecast uncertainty to the west over the Mat-Su Valleys and Kenai Peninsula is much higher at this time, with potential for accumulating snowfall highly dependent on the low track and front expected to set up over the Gulf. In fact, there is a decent chance that everywhere west of the Talkeetna and Chugach Mountains stays completely dry through at least Monday, but temperatures will stay much colder if this drier scenario plays out!


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