An eagle prepares to take off from a branch rimed with frost at the Kenai Bluff Overlook in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

An eagle prepares to take off from a branch rimed with frost at the Kenai Bluff Overlook in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Cold settles in

Subzero temperatures forecast to continue through at least Tuesday

Forecast information from the National Weather Service indicates that below zero temperatures are likely to continue through the weekend — unless snow arrives to warm things up. They describe “high” uncertainty for the forecast that makes it difficult to say whether precipitation will arrive on the Kenai Peninsula, or if it will remain confined to the east, toward Prince William Sound.

In both Kenai and Soldotna, the outlook is clear skies and low temperatures through Saturday night — a low of -20 degrees forecast for Saturday night. Snowfall is expected to return to the Kenai Peninsula on Sunday.

A message from the service on Wednesday said that warmer air is expected to move up into the Gulf of Alaska, pushing up low pressure systems and enough moisture to bring “a prolonged period of moderate to heavy snowfall across the eastern half of Southcentral,” which means snow may not arrive on the Kenai Peninsula and especially not in Kenai or Soldotna. The message says that snow may make an impact, but that uncertainty is high.

“There is a decent chance that everywhere west of the Talkeetna and Chugach Mountains stays completely dry through at least Monday, but temperatures will stay much colder if this drier scenario plays out!” the message reads.

The weather forecast for Southcentral Alaska updated on Thursday says that an upper-level trough of low atmospheric pressure — previously cited by the service on Monday as responsible for the bitter cold — “looks to be strong enough” to keep precipitation from spilling onto the Kenai Peninsula, suggesting the cold won’t be going anywhere.

The service projects that as late as Tuesday next week even the high temperatures will remain below zero in Soldotna. Kenai fares only marginally better, with a Tuesday high forecast at 0 degrees.

For updated forecasts and warnings, visit weather.gov/afc.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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