Update: Schools closed again as third big January storm dumps snow on Juneau

A bobcat plows snow downtown on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. (Clarise Larson/KTOO)

Update — Feb. 1, 6:00 a.m.

Juneau schools are shifting to remote learning and city offices and facilities are opening late as yet another winter storm dumps heavy snow on Juneau.

The Juneau School District announced Thursday morning that in-person classes, after-school programs and RALLY had been called off “due to heavy snow and icy conditions on streets and sidewalks.”

University of Alaska Southeast also announced that it will be operating remotely on Thursday, and that all campus buildings are closed.

City offices and facilities will be opening late, at 11:00 a.m.

Just after 6:00 a.m., the National Weather Service office in Juneau tweeted that more than ten inches of snow had fallen there overnight, with light snow still falling.

Original story

A third and final January storm will pass over Juneau starting on Wednesday afternoon. It’s expected to dump 9 to 14 inches of snow overnight and into Thursday. 

The snow will also come with strong winds, with gusts up to 40 mph, which could create hazardous road conditions on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Juneau, Haines, Skagway and Klukwan, effective at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The heaviest snow should start in the late afternoon and continue through midnight.

Between 6 and 11 inches of snow is expected for Haines and Skagway. To the south, from Gustavus down to Sitka and Angoon, between 1 and 6 inches of snow is possible. NWS has issued a winter weather advisory for those communities. 

 A mix of snow and rain is possible as the storm picks up. Snow will likely start out heavy and wet before transitioning to drier, fluffier snow. 

Meteorologist Lance Chambers says the snowfall totals could vary based on the strength of cold winds coming in from the north, which will determine how much precipitation comes down as snow versus rain or freezing rain. 

“The cooler it is, the higher the snowfall ratio is going to be,” Chambers said. “And if it’s warmer you’re going to have lower snow ratios. So therefore it’s the same amount of water but less depth of snow.

Meteorologists will update their predictions for snow accumulations as the storm gets closer on Wednesday afternoon. 

Heavy snowfall and wind could damage boats, and boat owners should take care to secure their vessels and shovel off snow. According to Juneau Docks and Harbors, at least 8 boats have sunk under the weight of snow this month.

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