ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Many locations across the U.S. are facing a snow deficit this winter, including major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor, like New York City. But one city that's seen way more than its fair share of winter weather this season is Anchorage, Alaska.
Anchorage has received a record-breaking 104.9 inches of snow as of Jan. 30, making it the earliest on record the city has seen 100 inches or more of snow after eclipsing that mark on the 29th.
In comparison, Anchorage typically sees 48.8 inches of snow on average by this point in the season, so it's currently running 56.1 inches above average.
"About two-thirds of the time, El Niño winters are less snowy around here," he said. "But a third of the time, it’s more snowy. So, sometimes, all the stars come into alignment. And that’s what’s happened here."
Brettschneider said there’s been a series of storms that took tracks that impacted Anchorage, producing a lot of snow.
And while storm after storm has affected the region recently, it doesn’t necessarily mean that trend will continue for the rest of winter.
"There’s really not much of a correlation between early in the season and late in the season," he said. "But, given where we’re at now in Anchorage, if we even have a normal rest of the snow season, that would put us in first place with the snowiest overall winter on record."
And while Anchorage is continuing to see the snow pile up, it’s leading to some hazardous situations.
There have been several reports of roofs collapsing across the region due to the weight of snow on top of buildings.
Many people think there shouldn’t be too many issues when it comes to Alaska and snow, but the accumulations have just become too much to handle in some places.
"So, our snow-water equivalent is over 7 inches now," Brettschneider said. "And if you do the math on that, that’s over 35 pounds per square foot. And that’s pushing up against what the municipality of Anchorage building codes are. So, a lot of the older buildings that have flat roofs have proven to be vulnerable to this snow load for sure."
And while Anchorage is dealing with snow, other parts of Alaska are dealing with significant snowmelt due to warm temperatures and rain.
"Juneau has had their third-snowiest month on record, and they’ve had their deepest snowpack in 50 years, and now it’s gone," Brettschneider said. "They’ve had record-high temperatures and rain for days on end. And that just completely did away with their snowpack."
However, Brettschneider said much of the rest of Alaska is doing well when it comes to snowpack.
"And we’re currently experiencing our coldest cold snap in about four or five years," Brettschneider said. "And it’s looking to get even colder this upcoming weekend.
The forecast called for temperatures to remain below zero through at least Friday, with a high temperature of 5 degrees expected on Saturday. Sunday is going to be even warmer and has a forecast high temperature of 15 degrees.
And it's looking like more snow is likely on both weekend days.