If you were expecting last-minute Christmas packages today, you might have noticed they didn’t arrive. Haines has been blanketed with nearly two-feet of snow in the last few days. And it’s going to keep on coming, so don’t put down those shovels just yet. Haines and Skagway will also likely see some strong winds through tonight that will make travel difficult and cause large drifts.
Susan Schumacher is the customer service agent with Alaska Seaplanes in Haines. She says they haven’t flown in two days.
“We have a plane here on the ground and my pilot is pacing.”
She says they have had to rely on the ferry to get the mail into town, but today, just two days before Christmas, there is no ferry. The Matanuska is scheduled to arrive in Haines tomorrow and the LeConte will be in Haines and Skagway on Christmas day. Schumacher says she’s expecting a busy day unloading mail tomorrow.
Meteorologist Joel Curtis is with the National Weather Service in Juneau. He says the snow is expected to subside for Christmas Day, but that Haines and Skagway could get hit hard, with up to 10 or more inches, on Saturday. He says the temperatures should remain cold enough to keep the rain at bay.
“What’s really interesting is that Christmas Day is looking like it’s going to be a pretty doggone nice day. And on Thursday night it would be clear so everybody tune into the University of Alaska Fairbanks aurora forecast and see if we can see any northern lights.”
Curtis says it looks like the snow will start lightly on Friday night and pick up on Saturday with three to five inches expected in the morning and another three to five later in the day.
“We’re looking at that very, very carefully right now to see if we’re going to need an advisory or a warning for the Haines area.”
He says the outlook for next week is for snow on and off, though forecasting the actual amount of snowfall in the long range forecast is difficult to predict. All in all, a very white Christmas is in store for the Upper Lynn Canal.