Rain should give way to snow Monday evening in the Anchorage area after icy roads led to the closure of all Anchorage public schools and Grace Christian School, as well as the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University campuses.
Temperatures in the mid- to upper 30s across much of Anchorage and Mat-Su, combined with rain, snow and freezing rain, led to deteriorating road conditions in some areas early Monday.
Joe Wegman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage, said the "rain threat" should subside through the day, with winds diminishing and cooler air spreading from the west, turning any pockets of rain to snow.
In Anchorage, temperatures were forecast to reach into the mid and upper 30s Monday, then drop into the 20s this evening.
Any snow should taper off Monday night, Wegman said, with accumulation of about an inch possible.
Monday was the Anchorage School District's first snow day of the school year.
The district sent out its school-closure alert around 5 a.m. after crews drove roads from Chugiak to Girdwood, while others checked with the National Weather Service and the Anchorage Police Department, said Tom Roth, the district's chief operating officer.
"The biggest problem areas were up north in Eagle River and Chugiak — along the Glenn — and then in southern portions of Anchorage," Roth said.
The district must decide whether it will close schools by 5:15 a.m., he said.
In the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the school district closed all "core area" schools for the day. Schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District remained open.
By midmorning Monday, icy roads persisted in Eagle River, Chugiak and southern parts of Anchorage, including Rabbit Creek and the Hillside, police said. Police closed Rabbit Creek Road between Elmore Road and Loc Loman Lane at 9:30 a.m. after several vehicles slid off the road.
"You have above-freezing air temperatures, but the ground temperatures are well below freezing, so you're getting — meteorologically — just plain rain, but when it falls on the below-freezing ground it freezes into ice," Wegman said.
Alan Czajkowski, Anchorage's deputy director of maintenance and operations, said some side streets and residential streets were also slick Monday. Main roads in the city, he said, "are fine."
To view the conditions on the roads near you, check this map.