Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK

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FXAK69 PAFG 200001

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
301 PM AKST Fri Jan 19 2018

The main forecast concerns will be from winter weather related
hazards ranging from blizzard conditions to forecast very cold
wind chill values. These concerns include ongoing blizzard
conditions along the eastern Arctic Slope, very cold wind chill
values in the Brooks Range and north over the Arctic Coast through
tomorrow morning, as well as blowing snow with reduced visibility
and gusty north winds through Brooks Range passes. Otherwise,
clear and cold conditions will dominate the forecast for the West
Coast and Western Interior, while very light snow and cooling
temperatures will be the highlight for the Eastern and Central
Interior. The 19/12Z model suite is in good agreement with little
spread in solutions through the short and mid term. Significant
differences in solutions develop mid to late next week, which
could have significant ramifications to the forecast, especially
for temperatures.

Arctic Coast and Brooks Range...Ongoing blizzard conditions from
Nuiqsut east along the Arctic Coast to the ALCAN border.
Blizzard conditions are expected to improve from west to east
this evening and into tonight as winds gradually subside. However,
as blizzard conditions wind down, very cold wind chills will
develop as colder air seeps east and temperatures drop. Will
likely have to transition the blizzard warning for zone 203 from a
Blizzard warning to a wind chill advisory once blizzard conditions
subside. Over the western Arctic Coast, the combination of
breezy, westerly winds and cooling temperatures will result in
wind chill values around 50 below. Wind chill values will warm
tomorrow morning as westerly winds diminish along the coast. In
Brook Range passes, a tight pressure gradient will keep strong,
gusty northerly winds going through this evening into late
tonight. There have been reports of near white conditions along
the Dalton Highway and these conditions are likely being seen
elsewhere. Near white conditions combined with forecast wind chill
values to around 45 to 50 below has precipitated the upgrade from
a winter weather advisory to a winter storm warning for zones 206
and 218.

Eastern and Central Interior...The main forecast challenge will be
temperatures and sky cover. The latest IR satellite images show
gradual clearing behind a decaying occluded front west of the
Dalton Highway in zone 218 and in the Upper Koyukuk Valley west of
Allakaket. This gradual progression of clearing skies over the
central Interior will make little eastward progress this evening
and then will stall west of a line from Healy to Livengood to east
of Bettles tonight. Those locations that do clear out over the
Central Interior will temperatures plummet initially into the 30s
below with sub 40 below possible Sunday morning. Over the eastern
interior, overcast conditions combined with very light snow will
continue through the weekend. Despite H850 temperatures around -20
C, cloud cover will act to keep temperatures warmer in the 20s
below over the Eastern Interior.

West Coast and Western Interior...Clear and cold conditions
expected through the weekend. H850 temperatures will continue to
cool into Sunday and will remain cold through early next week.
Temperatures will quickly fall to below normal with the western
Interior locations seeing temperatures 20 to 30 below normal
values by Sunday morning. May see a quick shot of light snow over
the western Seward Peninsula and Bering strait tomorrow afternoon
and then over the southwest late tomorrow afternoon into the early
evening as a weak upper level shortwave moves over the area. Over
the Noatak River Valley and the southeastern Brooks Range, wind
chill values will be as low as 45 to 50 below through tomorrow
morning. Winds should weaken tomorrow allowing wind chill values
to warm over this area.

Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...None.


Wind Chill Advisory for AKZ201-AKZ202-AKZ205-AKZ208-AKZ217.

Winter Storm Warning for AKZ206-AKZ218.

Blizzard Warning for AKZ203-AKZ204.

Heavy Freezing Spray Warning for PKZ210.

Gale Warning for PKZ245.

Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ215-PKZ230-PKZ235-PKZ240.


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