Cold snap coming to Southeast panhandle

Hold onto your hats and break out the thermal underwear, Southeast Alaska is in for a cold snap that could see temperatures dip into the single digits, bringing Taku winds along for the ride.

Edward Liske with the National Weather Service in Juneau says an Arctic air mass from the Canadian Interior is set to move into the region this weekend.

“That’s going to be spilling over the mountains starting this weekend and into next week, bringing us the northerly winds and really cold temperatures,” says Liske.

Temperatures should start to fall into the 20s and lower 30s over the course of today (Friday). This weekend, high temperatures are expected to range from the single digits in the north, to the mid-twenties in the southern panhandle. Lows will range from below zero to the low teens.

Juneau will see northeast winds 15 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts around 45 miles per hour over the weekend and into next week.

Liske says it’s not unusual for Southeast to experience a handful of cold snaps during an average winter. The last one was in November.

“It wasn’t quite as strong as this one is going to be. But it did get our temperatures down into the teens at one point, and that’s what started all of the snow in the latter part of November,” he says.

There won’t be any precipitation associated with this front, and Liske says it may be awhile before snow lovers get another dump of the white stuff.

“The first system that comes up from the southwest again, it’ll probably have so much cold air still lingering in the panhandle that it’ll mostly be snow. But when and how much, it’s still hard to tell. It’s way out there. It’s way in the long-range,” says Liske.

He says the cold, clear conditions should last more than a week.