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Light snow forecast for this weekend

Fast-moving low expected to speed down coast Fri.

Posted: January 10, 2013 - 1:09am

A low-pressure system is expected to travel along the Alaskan coastline from near Kodiak Island to the Dixon Entrance from Friday morning into early Saturday, a National Weather Service forecaster at the Juneau Forecast Office said Wednesday afternoon, potentially bringing a few inches of snow to Juneau as temperatures stay at or below freezing over the weekend.

Meteorologist Nicole Hannon said the low could have a bigger impact, were it not expected to move so fast.

“It’s moving really fast, so I think that that’s the main reason why we’re not going to be getting as much snow out of it as we would normally,” Hannon said. “It’s moving through much faster than normal systems that we see.”

Hannon said she expects an inch of snow could fall during the day Friday, with another inch or more falling overnight into Saturday for a total accumulation she predicted at two to three inches.

“Really, the most snow that we would get looks like it would be … late Friday afternoon and Friday evening, and then by Saturday morning, early Saturday morning, it’s already gone and we’re going to be having clearing,” said Hannon. “During the day Saturday, I’ve actually got decreasing clouds, and … it will probably be partly cloudy by Saturday afternoon.”

Over the weekend, Hannon said, an atmospheric river appears set to form, channeling warmer air from the south to Southern and Southeast Alaska.

“It’s going to warm up all of Southeast Alaska,” Hannon said. “Temperatures approaching 40 for even here in Juneau.”

That atmospheric river will also bring more precipitation to the region, Hannon added. That precipitation could fall as snow Sunday night into Monday as temperatures remain below freezing.

“We’ve got pretty cool temperatures now, so it’ll take a couple of days for it to warm up,” Hannon explained.

Hannon said she sees an inch and a half of snow falling Sunday night, with another two inches during the day Monday, but she noted that she is less confident in her forecast for several days out than she is for the next couple of days.

As the Juneau area warms, snow will turn to rain Monday, Hannon predicted.

Up at the Eaglecrest Ski Area on North Douglas Island, which is at a higher elevation than the rest of Juneau’s populated area, Monday temperatures are forecast to hover around freezing before rising to a high of 36 degrees Tuesday, according to the NWS website.

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

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