The city of Anchorage, Alaska, could see its snowiest November ever – and the snowfall so far this month has already spelled misery for residents, quickly burying roads and prompting an emergency declaration.
At least four people believed to be homeless have died outdoors so far this month in the city, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The city has already seen 37.9 inches of snow so far this month, National Weather Service Meteorologist Dan Nelson told CNN on Tuesday.
“There has been so much snow in a short amount of time, people are overloaded in keeping the roads clear,” Nelson said.
The all-time record for total snow in the city during the month of November is 38.8 inches, according to the meteorologist.
That means Anchorage is “less than one inch of snow away from breaking the all-time November record,” he said.
And with more than two weeks of November left, there is “a very good chance we will surpass the record,” Nelson said.
The city also set a daily record for snowfall Monday and liquid equivalent precipitation, the weather service said on X, formerly Twitter.
“Observed snowfall of 8.7”, breaks the old record of 2.7” set in 1979. The observed liquid precipitation of 0.68”, breaks the old record of 0.46” set in 2022,” the service wrote.
Heavy snowfall prompts emergency
Nelson said the area’s largest storm system of the season took place last Wednesday and Thursday, and parts of Anchorage saw “around 18 inches of snow.” This week, a second storm system “exacerbated” an already miserable situation in the city, Nelson said.
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson declared a snow emergency for the city on Thursday, and it is set to remain in effect through Friday evening. The proclamation was necessary, the mayor said, in part to get more resources to keep city streets clear.
The weather and road conditions prompted the Anchorage School District to switch to remote learning on Thursday. The district also conducted remote learning days on Monday and Tuesday of this week, according to Facebook posts from school officials.
The Anchorage People Mover, the city’s public transportation service, was also suspended Friday due to the weather.
And the city is still not out of the woods: another round of snow is expected to hit Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
“This week, late tonight into tomorrow morning, we expect some light snow in the Anchorage area and I believe we will add to that 37.9 total,” Nelson said.
The good news: the upcoming storm system does not appear to be “as impactful as our previous two systems,” Nelson said.
CNN’s Natalie Barr contributed to this report.