Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK
FXAK69 PAFG 051204
Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
304 AM AKST Mon Dec 5 2016
Models...The short term solutions last week did a great job in
developing the ridge over Siberia and moving it over mainland
Alaska this weekend. For the short term all the solutions keep
ridging over the interior with it gradually sliding out to the
east later in the week, though weak ridging will remain over the
interior. Models initialized well against the 05/06Z surface
analysis, but a couple millibars lower than the analysis.
Temperatures will be the biggest challenge this forecast cycle.
Models indicate 850 hpa temperatures warming 8 to 10 degrees
celsius, but model temperature guidance has surface temperatures
going down a bit then slowly rising. For this forecast cycle will
use the current database and only make minor changes based on the
latest guidance and observations. Forecast confidence for
temperatures and stratus ceilings in the upper Tanana Valley is
low, but high for all other elements.
Aloft...At 500 hpa...A ridge over the west coast has a 547 dam
closed center over the northwest coast this morning with 540 dam
heights over the west coast and 534 dam heights over the interior.
A 528 dam low has moved over the Queen Charlotte Islands and will
continue to move east. A trough has moved to the eastern Bering
Sea extending south over the Pribilof Island and Dutch Harbor.
A trough over the arctic lies over Banks Island to MacKenzie Bay
to Central to Anvik and will persist cutting off the closed center
over the northwest arctic coast this evening. A 532 dam low will
develop over the Pribilof Islands this afternoon and move east
across Bristol Bay to Kodiak Island tonight. The closed center
over the northwest coast will move over Point Barrow tonight, and
then drifts back to the southwest and merges with a ridge that
will move over the central Bering Sea by Wednesday morning. The
trough over the interior will eventually merge with the low over
Kodiak and the low center will move south with weak troughing
remaining over the southern interior and upper Tanana Valley. At
850 hpa...The Fairbanks upper air sounding had -23.5 celsius at 3
pm which was a couple degrees warmer than Saturday. Models
indicate 6 to 8 degrees warmer the next 24 hours over the
Surface...A 1050 mb high center sits over MacKenzie Bay and
northeast arctic coast with broad area of high pressure extending
west and south over the forecast area. Weak trough of low
pressure persist over the Gulf of Alaska. A trough of low pressure
also lies over the Gulf of Anadyr and the eastern Bering Sea
extending southeast across the Alaska Peninsula near Cold Bay.
Arctic Front lies well south of the forecast area and will remain
there through the short term. By Tuesday morning a 1012 mb low
will develop over Bristol Bay and move over Kodiak Island, while a
1038 mb ridge will move out of the north Pacific over the central
Aleutians and central Bering Sea. By Wednesday morning ridging
will extend from the high over the northern Yukon and Northwest
Territories west across the interior north of the Alaska range to
the eastern Bering Sea, then south across the central Aleutians.
And through Thursday morning the ridging will persist over the
same area, while the low over Kodiak Island moves southeast to off
the Vancouver Island coast.
Arctic Coast and Brooks Range...Not too bad for this time of year,
mostly clear skies as the ice has shut off the moisture so no
stratus issues. Winds generally east to southeast at 5 to 15 mph,
except south of Point Lay winds 20 to 30 mph today. Low
temperatures will range from around 20 below along the coast to
around 45 below in some of the coastal plains locations, while
highs will range from around 10 below to around 30 below.
Temperatures will warm just a few degrees through the week.
West Coast and Western Interior...A Blizzard Warning remains in
effect into the afternoon for St Lawrence Island. Strong winds
will persist in and near the Bering Strait and over the western
Chukchi Sea through the day. Inland areas will generally have
light east winds. Temperatures will be steady the next couple
Central and Eastern Interior...The forecast challenges in the
interior will be the temperatures, and the stratus clouds that
developed over the Yukon Territory and have advected west into the
upper Tanana Valley as far west as Delta junction at times
overnight and may have even reached the upper Chena River Basin
before pulling back. See no reason for the stratus to erode away
so will keep it in the upper Tanana Valley and Fortymile Country
south of Eagle into Tuesday. That will mean much warmer
temperatures south of Eagle and east of Delta Junction. Winds will
generally be light, however expect a Tanana Valley Jet to develop
from Dot Lake to Nenana across the flats with winds gusting around
30 mph around Delta junction. Will keep temperatures about the
same the next couple days then slowly warming, but models are
producing conflicting data so would not be surprised to see them
go up a few degrees the next couple days then a slow rise the
remainder of the week.
Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...None.
Blizzard Warning for AKZ213.
Heavy Freezing Spray Warning for PKZ210-PKZ220-PKZ225-PKZ230-
Gale Warning for PKZ210.
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ200-PKZ220-PKZ225.
Brisk Wind for PKZ245.
SDB DEC 16