One of the hottest summers on record in Alaska is coming to an end, at least north of the Alaska Range.
Frost was reported in low-lying areas overnight in the Fairbanks Tuesday morning, while Tok and other communities to the east had temperatures in the 20s Monday morning.
A winter storm advisory is in effect for the eastern Brooks Range, and a winter weather advisory is in place for higher elevations on the Steese Highway from Tuesday night through midday Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
From 4 to 6 inches of snow is expected above 2,000 feet in the Brooks Range, with difficult travel expected on the Dalton Highway between Atigun Pass and Galbraith Lake. Summits along the Steese Highway could see 2 to 4 inches of snow. Below 2,000 feet, 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected.
A second advisory issued Tuesday afternoon specifically mentioned Anaktuvuk Pass, Sagwon, and Franklin Bluffs as potentially hazardous areas. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Young, any elevations above 2,000 feet along the Dalton Highway could be affected.
“It’s been snowing since this morning,” Young said Tuesday afternoon. “For the storm total, we’re looking at anywhere from 3 to 7 inches.”
Young said the snowfall will likely end by Wednesday morning. He noted that a winter weather advisory is typically issued whenever 6 or more inches of snowfall is expected in a 24-hour period but that conditions are not anticipated to be too dangerous.
“If you plan to travel up there, it’s not impossible to travel, but you should expect to have some difficulties with the snowfall,” he said.
The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 511.
Craig McCaa, a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management’s Fairbanks District Office, said that, while the office hasn’t issued any advisories, hikers should be cautious in some areas.
“That would include some areas that are in the Pinnell Mountain Trail,” he said. “That area is always subject to high winds and extreme weather.”
McCaa said that parts of the 27-mile-long trail, which is just off the Steese Highway, have seen snow every month this year and that a number of its summits may be particularly precarious after the storm.
Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors. Staff writer Julie Stricker contributed to this report.