Fairbanks North Star Borough Schools will be closed on Monday as the region digs out from more than a foot of snow -- in places much more -- that fell over the Easter weekend.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities asked people to avoid traveling on the Parks Highway, as plows were unable to keep up from the falling and drifting snow. Some freezing rain also was reported in the area Saturday night.
Scattered power outages were reported this morning, and as the wind begins picking up early this afternoon, more are expected.
As of 9 a.m., unofficial measurements showed more than 19 inches of snow on Old Murphy Dome Road, 14 inches in Goldstream and almost a foot in Two Rivers. The official measurement on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus was 12.4 inches.
DOT said conditions are very difficult and its drivers will be focusing on Priority 1 and 2 roads today and hope to get to Priority 3 and 4 roads tonight. (See dot.alaska.gov/wintermap )
That's a new two-day April snowfall record for Fairbanks, according to Weather Service measurements, eclipsing the previous record of 11.4 inches, set in 1948. According to climatologist Rick Thoman, (@AlaskaWx) "big snows (or rain) in Fairbanks in April are unusual. Past 106 years only six storms produced 6" (15cm) or more accumulation in two days."
Thoman also noted that the snowfall for Fairbanks between March 29-April 3 would be at least 21 inches, well more than the 1948 record of 16.9".
Average April snowfall is 2.9".
After the storm moves through, temperatures in the Interior will drop sharply, with lows in the double digits below zero by midweek, according to the National Weather Service.