FAIRBANKS—The middle Tanana Valley was covered in its first full blanket of snow of the season Friday.
Fairbanks received somewhere between 4 inches and 9 inches of snow before the cold front passed to the east and much of the accumulation began to churn slowly into slush.
The snow slowed traffic and caused several minor crashes, including one person who struck and knocked over a light pole near Dunkel Street, according to Fairbanks Police Department officer Sgt. Doug Welborn. Police responded to numerous incidents where cars had veered into roadside ditches, he said.
Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said troopers took 14 motor vehicle collision calls since 7 a.m. Friday.
"We had multiple MVCs at Chena Ridge Road and Yak Road and at 4 mile Elliott Highway," Peters said. "The Elliott Highway was closed on and off for several hours. Every time we cleared up a crash, another one happened, or someone would get stuck."
The Parks Highway experienced vehicles in ditches and crashes from Nenana to Cantwell, Peters said.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, the hills up around Ballaine Road had recorded the most snow in the area, receiving as much as 9 inches. Most areas in town received closer to 5 inches, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service.
By the late afternoon, the cold front that brought the snow had moved east beyond Fairbanks, leaving only scattered snow showers. Don Aycock, a forecaster at the National Weather Service, said the scattered snow showers would likely remain the status quo until Saturday, when the temperature may warm up enough to turn those scattered showers into rain.
Aycock said the temperature is expected to continue rising, possibly reaching into the mid-40s Sunday and mid-50s Monday. With more showers expected through the weekend, much of the snow accumulated Friday will likely melt.
Contact staff writer Weston Morrow at 459-7520. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMschools. Staff writer Dorothy Chomicz contributed to this report.