Update: National Weather Service Juneau ends blizzard warning

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Grant Smith talked about the winter storm Wednesday.

    Update 03/01 6:15 p.m.

    National Weather Service Juneau has ended the Blizzard Warning. There is still high winds, but they are now being matched with rain instead of snow.

    Update 03/01 3:00 p.m.

    Nathan Compton, a meteorologist with National Weather Service Juneau, explained how they made the decision to upgrade the storm to a blizzard.

    "In terms of criteria, it is reduced visibility in addition to high winds. So we look for at least 35 miles per hour gusts or greater and less than a quarter mile visibility for at least three hours or more, in addition to heavy snowfall rates. So we have been seeing upwards of 50 miles per hour gusts at the airport, which led to our decision to upgrade in addition to low visibility we have been continuously seeing."

    He said the blizzard warning is set to expire tonight.

    The Juneau office doesn't issue Blizzard Warnings very often - since 2013, only 14 have been issued.

    Original 03/01 12:00 p.m.

    Smith said where we are at as of Wednesday afternoon.

    "For the Juneau area, we know we're still expecting the snow and the winds to last through today into tonight. Thursday, still expected to see some snow around. But not like we're seeing today; much lighter snow for Thursday. But as far as today is concerned, heavy snow, blowing snow continuing through today. So far some of the snow reports that have been coming in range anywhere from as low as six to seven to as high as 10 to 11 inches. Those are just the reports that have come in just this morning. So we're gonna continue to add on to that throughout the day."

    He said Juneau is seeing high winds.

    "The winds today had been gusting at the airport upwards of 40 to 45 miles per hour. That's been causing the snow to be blowing around. The visibility dropping to a quarter mile or less. I mean, very strong wind speeds there. And then downtown, even still seeing some of those strong wind gusts of 30 to 40 miles per hour at least. And then even some estimates of even higher than that."

    Smith gave the reminder to drive slow, and that the weather should calm down Thursday.

    "Once the front moves through, things will begin to calm down Thursday. Really begin to calm down Friday and as we head into the weekend and next week, we're looking at colder air moving in from the north going back into an outflow pattern. That's going to be bringing in clear skies and quieter weather. So it'll look nice outside but it's going to be cold. So be on the lookout for a weather pattern change here in the next few days."

    After the storm moves through, Juneau can expect highs in the mid to upper 20s and lows in mid to upper teens.

    This article will be updated as more updates become available.

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