Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK
FXAK69 PAFG 202305
Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
205 PM AKST Mon Feb 20 2017
Northern Alaska will be in for a significant change in the weather
pattern in the second half of this week.
A long wave trough over Alaska will move east into Canada Tue
through Wed as a sharp ridge builds over mainland Alaska from Tue
through Thu. The ridge then flattens out Thu night through the
weekend with the flow aloft becoming southwest. Several weak short
wave troughs moving northeast across Northern Alaska now through
Wed in the long wave trough will bring flurries or light snow
with each trough.
The current near to below normal temperatures will rise to well
above normal by Thu over most of northern Alaska under the
building ridge and remain above normal through the weekend.
Moist south flow moving into the West Coast of Alaska late Wed
and Thu will bring significant snow the West Coast and Western
Interior Wed night and Thu with 4 to 8 inches of accumulation.
Flow will turn southwest Thu night through the weekend over all of
Northern Alaska bringing periods of snow from Thu night through
the weekend with snow fall amounts of 4 to 8 inches across many
areas in that 3 day period. Expect the heaviest amounts in SW
facing slopes such as the Brooks Range. Could see snow mixing with
or changing to freezing rain across the SW Alaska Wed night and
Thu and to the southern Interior Thu and Thu night.
A low aloft near Kotzebue will move to Red Dog by 3pm Tue...and to
just north of Deadhorse by 3pm Wed then continuing northeast.
There will be flurries and areas of mid-level clouds around this
feature. A short wave trough extending from the low to Kodiak
will move to Kotzebue to Minchumina by 3am Tue...to Red Dog to
Northway by 3pm Tue...to Red Dog to Arctic Village by 3am
Wed...and then north of the Arctic Coast Wed. Flurries and light
snow along with and mid-level clouds northeast of the trough will
clear out southwest of the trough. Surface low temperatures will
fall into the 20s and 30s below in the clearing area.
A second short wave trough moving from the Bering to the YK delta
Tue night will move to the SE Interior Wed. There will be light
snow in the YK Delta and SW Interior Tue night spreading to the
Eastern Interior Wed. Expect 1-2 inches of snow with this.
A vertically stacked 1019 mb low near Kotzebue will move to Red
Dog as a 1024 mb low by 3pm Tue and to 100 nm north of Deadhorse
as a 1024 mb low by 3pm Wed. A front stretching from this low
south over Norton Sound then curving back north over the Bering
Strait to Point Hope to Point Lay to Eagle will move north and
east of Alaska tonight. There will be NW winds g15 mph blowing
with this front along the Alaska Highway from Tok to the Alcan
A strong low will move into the SW Bering Sea Tue night and to
the NW Bering by Thu Pm. A warm front associated with this will
move north over the Bering Sea to Nunivak Island west by 3pm
Wed...to Anadyr to Provideniya to McGrath by 3am Thu...and to a
997 mb low just north of the Bering Strait at 3pm Thu with the
warm front stretching from the low to Point Hope to Denali by 3pm
Thu. A trailing cold front will move to Anadyr south at 3am Thu
and to the Bering Strait to the Yukon Delta as 3pm Thu. There will
be a chance of rain and freezing rain in the warm sector south of
Kotzebue. Expect 4-8 inches of snow and easterly gale force along
the west coast with the warm front. Winds will be much low lower
in the Interior. Will issue Winter Storm watch for zones 214 and
213 starting at 3pm Wed...for zones 212 and 211 after 9pm
Wed...for zone 210 after 3am Thu...and for zones 207 208 and 209
after 6am Thu.
Models show similar solutions through 3pm Thu. After that time
they differ on details of timing and strength, but they all show a
similar long wave pattern with moist southwest flow developing
over Northern Alaska from Fri through the weekend.
Winter Storm Watch for AKZ207-AKZ208-AKZ209-AKZ210-AKZ211-AKZ212-
Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ210.
JB FEB 17