Wind, not snow, dominates weekend weather forecast

Forecaster says expect drier, cooler conditions

The snow line on the mountains behind downtown Juneau and on Douglas Island has been creeping down lower and lower over the past week or so, but a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service said Thursday that the skies are about to clear.


Speaking at the Juneau Forecast Office on the Back Loop Thursday afternoon, Robert Tschantz said that while Friday could bring a little bit more snow, the trend is toward drier weather, as well as winds out of the north and northeast.

“Starting Saturday into probably at least mid-week, we’re going to be dry, probably see a decent amount of sunshine during the day and be a little bit on the breezy side,” said Tschantz.

That means high temperatures in the upper 30s, but lows ranging from around freezing downtown to a decidedly chillier low to mid-20s in the Mendenhall Valley.

“Could be a good difference between the downtown and the Mendenhall Valley, especially at nighttime,” Tschantz remarked.

Winds will be up to 25 to 35 knots at least in some areas, coming down off Lynn Canal and the Taku Inlet, Tschantz added.

“I think the big noticeable thing will be the wind,” said Tschantz.

Whether an area is shielded from the wind or not could spell the difference between treacherous, icy roads during the morning commute and comparatively dry roadways, according to Tschantz.

“If we get a lot of wind, it could dry things out, so the roads will be drier and they may not freeze overnight. But places where the winds are quiet may get some frost formation on the roadways,” Tschantz said. “So yes, you do have to watch out for potential ice, especially in wind-sheltered areas.”

As for Eaglecrest Ski Area, the recent snowfall may be just about all there is for now.

“We’re not expecting … much up there,” said Tschantz. “Could they get an inch or two out of these showers (on Friday)? Yeah, potentially. After that, it’s pretty much dry.”

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at

Let it snow
Photo: It's back! Snow at Eaglecrest


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