Juneau snowfall inches toward all-time high

One heavy storm, expected overnight, could break record

Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Juneau closed in on its snowiest winter ever Tuesday night, with four to eight inches expected by Wednesday morning, National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Ainsworth said.

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"We're fully expecting the record to be broken overnight tonight," he said Tuesday.

A heavy snow warning was in effect from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. today.

The snowiest season on record was 1964-65, when 194.1 inches fell. The latest measurement Tuesday showed 192.4 inches at Juneau International Airport. Snow was expected to turn to rain showers this afternoon, Ainsworth said.

"Basically the rain-snow boundary that has been well south of Alaska is making its seasonal trip back north," he said.

An urban and small-stream flood advisory was issued for 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. today because of the warming temperature, melting snow and expected rain, Ainsworth said.

"In addition to that we got a wind advisory," Ainsworth said.

Frequent gusts over 40 mph were expected from midnight to 6 p.m. today.

Over the next five days precipitation will likely be in a mix of rain and snow, he said.

People should be prepared for possible urban avalanches, Capital City Fire and Rescue chief Eric Mohrman said.

Mohrman suggested that citizens visit the Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center Web site, www.avalanche.org/~seaac, to help with preparations and for updated advisories.

The fire department is also soliciting help from the public to help keep fire hydrants cleared of snow, he said.

• Eric Morrison can be reached at ericmorrison@juneauempire.com.

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