These Southern Cities Have More Snow Than Anchorage, Alaska, So Far This Season

Brian Donegan
Published: November 14, 2019

It's not often that Southern cities pick up more snow through mid-November than Anchorage, Alaska, but such has been the case this month.

Knoxville, Tennessee, received 1.7 inches of snow early Tuesday, while Nashville picked up 0.4 inches Monday night.

It was the seventh time on record that measurable snow occurred in Nashville on or before Nov. 11, according to the National Weather Service.

Even parts of northern Arkansas had accumulating snow. A half-inch of snow fell on Veterans Day in Harrison, Arkansas, and 0.2 inches fell in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

(MORE: What Are the Odds of Snow on Thanksgiving?

Some 3,000 miles away in Alaska, it's a far different story.

Only 0.2 inches of snow had fallen in Anchorage through Wednesday. That's about 13 inches fewer than average by this point in the season.

Current snow cover is plotted in various colors on the map. The November snowfall total for Anchorage, Alaska, is denoted.

A measly trace of snow is all McGrath, Alaska, had received as of Wednesday. A typical season would have nearly 20 inches of snow by now.

(MORE: Winter 2019-20 Outlook

Parts of eastern and southern Alaska, including Anchorage, were under a winter storm warning Wednesday into Thursday, the first winter storm warning for Anchorage since March 2013, according to Dr. Brian Brettschneider, Anchorage resident and climatologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

But the warning wasn't for heavy snow. It was for ice accumulation from freezing rain.

Winter storm warnings are rare in Anchorage because the snow threshold for a warning there is 12 inches in 12 hours or less, or 24 inches in 24 hours or less.

"These are snow rates that almost never happen here," Brettschneider tweeted.

A large portion of the Rockies, Northern Plains, upper Midwest, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and interior Northeast has picked up far more snow than Anchorage through the first 13 days of November.

In fact, for some cities from the Rockies to the Great Lakes, it's already one of the coldest and snowiest starts to the winter season.

(MORE: These Cities Had Their Most Miserable Start to Winter, and It's Not Officially Winter Yet

Buffalo, New York, has received more than a foot of snow this season, while 3.5 inches have fallen in Chicago. An inch of snow has been tallied in Louisville, Kentucky.

Current snow cover is plotted in various colors on the map. November snowfall totals are denoted for various cities.

Does this early season snow and cold in the Lower 48 and lack thereof in parts of Alaska give any indication on how snowy and cold it will be this winter?

In some parts of the United States, colder than average Novembers tend to be followed by colder than average winters, and vice versa. However, there is little or no relationship between November snowfall and December to February snowfall.

(MORE: Does a Cold November Mean a Cold Winter Ahead?

An updated winter outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, was released Thursday. Click here to find out what to expect in your area.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.