Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK

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FXAK69 PAFG 251910
AFDAFG

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
1110 AM AKDT Thu May 25 2017

.DISCUSSION...

Models...Short term run to run has been good, it is the mid and
extended periods that models diverge quite a bit. Initialize well
against the 25/18Z local surface analysis. Precipitation patterns
are similar, but the GFS and ECMWF have much more coverage than
the NAM so will lean toward the NAM solution.

Aloft...At 500 hpa...A 552 dam center North of Banks Island will
move northeast into the Canadian Archipelago. A 510 dam low over
the Chukchi Sea will remain quasi stationary and weaken then be
absorbed Saturday into a 524 dam low that will develop tonight
over Barrow and move to the west central Arctic by Saturday
afternoon. Troughing will extend from the low south over the
Bering Strait to a 533 dam low over Sand Point. A 526 dam low
over the lower Yukon Delta this afternoon will move north and
dissipate this evening. The associated shortwave lies from the low
southeast over the Kenai Peninsula and will lie from Deering to
Dawson YT by Friday morning, from Cape Lisburne to Old Crow YT by
Friday evening, and moves over the arctic nearshore waters by
Saturday morning. Ridging over the northeast pacific will start
building north tonight and will push north over the southeast
interior by Friday afternoon, and over the Central and Eastern
Interior by Saturday morning. At 850 hpa...Zero isotherm lies
over the AlCan Border this afternoon and will push into the Yukon
Territory for Friday. It will move back over the southeast
interior Saturday, and will lie from Old Crow YT to Galena then
south to the Alaska Range, then along the north slopes of the
range by Sunday morning as warm air pushes back to the west across
the interior.

Surface...Arctic front lies over the arctic coast. A cold front
moved across the state yesterday and is in Canada with the
occlusion moving over the Arctic Coast earlier this morning. A 997
mb low that was over the Seward Peninsula yesterday has moved into
the Chukchi Sea and will drift north. A 999 mb low has developed
over the arctic plain and will move to 100 nm north of Nuiqsut
this evening, then west northwest to 200 nm northwest of
Point Barrow by Friday morning when it will absorb the low in the
Chukchi Sea as it continue to move west to be over the dateline by
Saturday morning. Ridging over the northeast Pacific is building
back north over the Gulf Coast tonight and will be pushing north
over the Central and Eastern Interior through the weekend as the
trough digs south over the West Coast and eastern Bering Sea.
Thermal trough will develop along the northeast slopes of the
Alaska Range in the upper Tanana Valley during the weekend.

Arctic Coast and Brooks Range...Some lingering snow showers
tonight, mainly over the northwest coast, but there will also be
a respite from the low stratus ceilings and fog that have been
locked over the area for what seems almost 2 months. Stratus will
move back over the eastern arctic coast Saturday but offshore flow
should keep the improved conditions over the area from Barrow
west. Winds 10 to 20 mph for most areas will go from southeast to
south tonight through Friday. Winds on the eastern arctic coast
will go from South to north to east Saturday pulling the stratus
back into the area. Temperatures cooler through Saturday, then
warming.

West Coast and Western Interior...Low in the Chukchi Sea will
continue to spin showers into the area, but not looking for
significant precipitation. With the cooler conditions, expect
snow showers north of the Bering Strait with a mix of rain and
snow showers from the Strait south. No snow accumulation is
expected below 1000 feet. Temperatures cooling through Saturday,
then starting to warm with much warmer conditions by the middle of
next week. Winds generally southeast to south at 5 to 20 mph with
the strongest winds along the Chukchi Sea coast.

Central and Eastern Interior...Mostly cloudy to cloudy tonight
with showers moving through the area tonight through Friday
morning, then some clearing Friday with continued clearing
through the weekend. Heavy snow at times tonight in the western
Alaska Range as the next cold front moves east so will maintain
the Winter Weather Advisory for areas west of Polychrome Pass in
the Alaska range. Temperatures cooler tonight and Friday night
then slowly warming on the weekend with highs returning to the 60s
starting Sunday with lows in the 40s next week. Winds generally
light, but they may be gusty with the showers.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...Showery conditions tonight with elevated dew
point and Relative Humidity values will continue to produce
unfavorable fire conditions through Saturday. Thunderstorm
activity will be suppressed through at least Friday. The thermal
trough redeveloping this weekend along with the warming and drying
conditions will return the area to more normal fire conditions
for this time of the year. Thunderstorm activity will increase by
late in the weekend under the ridge of high pressure, but no
significant outbreaks are expected through the middle of next
week.

&&

.HYDROLOGY...Heavy snows in the Alaska range will rapidly melt
off at the lower elevations this weekend as the warmer conditions
develop, so some of the drainages from the Alaska Range could see
bankfull conditions Sunday and Monday. No changes to the arctic
river situation as breakup continues its slow steady march with
the Colville River flowing and meltwater ponding as it melts into
the still frozen drainages.

&&

.AFG WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...

Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ225.

&&

$$

SDB MAY 17


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