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State again extends snow tire deadline

May 1 deadline extended to May 15

Posted: April 29, 2013 - 3:28pm  |  Updated: April 29, 2013 - 11:00pm

Alaska drivers will have an extra two weeks to dismount the studded tires from their road vehicles, the Alaska Department of Public Safety announced Monday.

The deadline of May 1 has been pushed back to May 15.

The state’s decision to extend the date by which cars and other road vehicles must not be fitted with studded tires comes days after a late-season snowstorm dumped more than four inches of snow on Juneau last Friday.

Other parts of the state have also experienced significant snowfall, with Fairbanks receiving snow Monday.

DPS spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said the office of Commissioner Joseph Masters has received repeated requests for an extension on the studded tire removal deadline.

“The commissioner’s office got a lot of input from the public, especially out of Fairbanks, because the road was not exactly clear,” said Ipsen.

The normal deadline by which drivers in parts of Alaska south of the 60th parallel north must have studded tires removed from their vehicles is April 15. That date was pushed back to May 1 earlier this month.

Drivers can be cited for studded tire violations after the May 15 deadline expires, the DPS warned in its announcement.

Ipsen said extensions of the May 1 date are not common in the state.

“It seems that we’re having kind of wacky weather, but it is Alaska,” Ipsen said.

National Weather Service forecaster Edward Liske, who works at the Juneau Forecast Office, said the current snow forecast does not indicate a likely repeat of last Friday’s unexpected snowfall. He said he expects one to two inches or less of snow Tuesday night before temperatures warm and the precipitation turns to rain.

“It’s not going to be a major snow dump as far as I can see at the moment, but that might change,” said Liske.

Still, Liske said he could not rule out more snow falling next month, although he noted that according to the NWS’ meteorological data, there has historically been little May snowfall in Juneau.

“It might be possible,” Liske said. “The latest that the Juneau (International) Airport has ever had snowfall that’s been greater than a trace was May 13. That was in 1965.”

On May 13, 1965, only about two-tenths of an inch snow fell at the airport, according to Liske.

“It’s possible we might see another snowfall,” added Liske. “Might not be too much, but we’ll see.”

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

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