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Snow fell at sea level in Juneau on Friday

Temperatures remain above freezing

Posted: October 14, 2012 - 12:10am

Juneauites have been seeing fresh dustings of snow atop Mount McGinnis and other local peaks after particularly cold nights for a few weeks now.

But Mother Nature upped the ante Friday afternoon, when big, wet snowflakes mixed with rain fell across the city and borough.

“Some of the snow that’s falling aloft has made it down to the ground,” said Tim Steffen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Juneau Forecast Office.

While temperatures bottomed out in the mid- to high 30s at sea level, meaning that none of the snow falling at sea level stuck to the ground, the snow shower left Mount Jumbo and other mountains frosted with white.

By Monday, Steffen said, the fresh snow on the mountains will likely have melted. As of Friday, the NWS was expecting temperatures to rise over the weekend, raising the snow level back above the tops of most of the City and Borough of Juneau’s peaks.

“Down here at sea level, we’re not expecting temperatures to get much cooler than … mid-30s,” Steffen added. “So we shouldn’t see any accumulation on roadways. It should just remain wet.”

Juneau’s first snowfall of the season comes a little less than two weeks after its first frost (http://bit.ly/QisgIX).

But while the frost came at about the time of the month that forecasters have come to expect it, snowfall at sea level is a bit premature for the season.

“It’s usually around the last week in October,” Steffen said. “It is definitely a bit early.”

Daytime temperatures are forecast to fall back into the 30s late in the week after warming over the weekend. Steffen said more moisture and precipitation is expected as well, as Juneau returns to “a more normal fall pattern after all the dry weather that we’ve had.”

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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