Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK
FXAK69 PAFG 292256
Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
256 PM AKDT FRI JUL 29 2016
Overall wet pattern across much of Interior and Western Alaska
expected through the weekend with widespread heavy rain expected.
Overall models are in general agreement through Monday. Although
the NAM model is a bit more on the drier side compared to the
other models. Precipitable water values and water transport shows
2-3 standard deviations with maximum over Central Interior. Even
the 12z sounding from Fairbanks showed PW values of 120% of
normal. Thus, leaning toward the wetter models such as GFS and
ECMWF or NAFES. Expect rainfall of general 1 to 1.5 inches through
Sunday morning, with higher amounts of 2 to 2.25 inches further
west extending from Husila to the Nulato Hills, Kigluaik and
Bendeleben Mountains. After Monday, there is still some general
model agreement but timing of the upper level features start to
slowly diverge. Much of the northern half of Alaska goes to a
drier period beginning Monday with another trough and associated
showers moving into northwest Alaska by mid to late week.
West Coast and Western Interior...Widespread rain will continue to
move towards the western interior. Models continue to indicate
1.5 to 2 inches of rainfall in a band from Nome eastward into the
Nulato Hills tapering to 1.0 inch near Galena through Saturday
morning with an additional 1.0 inch possible Sunday. Flood
advisories have been issues for the Nulato Hills and the Southern
Seward Peninsula including the Niukluk and Koyuk Rivers.
Precipitation will clear entirely by Sunday over the Western Coast
and Western Interior. Another concern will be the coastal hazards
for higher surf expected along the Norton Sound with the
southwest flow 20 to 30 knots. Although at this time the southwest
flow will begin to diminish and potential wave runup will be short
duration as the surface low moves into Norton Sound by Saturday
afternoon. The surface winds will then shift out of the north as
the surface low moves southward into the Yukon Delta by Sunday.
Still the concern will be for those with personal property along
the coast in Norton Sound and along the Yukon Delta should move
items above high water line.
Central and Eastern Interior...Widespread rain with heavy at
times expected to continue for central and eastern interior with
heaviest rainfall expected for central interior. Rainfall totals
through Saturday morning are expected to range from 1 to 1.25 over
much of the central interior from Chena Hot Springs west. Expect
areas along the Alaska Range west from the Richardson Highway to
see 1 to 2 inches with locally higher amounts in higher terrain
west of Parks Highway. Small Stream flood advisories are out for
the Alaska Range west of Richardson Highway with potential for
rock and mud slides as well. A flood watch exists
North Slope and Arctic Coast...Rain showers will mix with snow in
the Brooks Range tonight and Saturday with 1-2 inches of snow
accumulation expected above 3500 feet.
Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...None.
Widespread wetting rains over the much of mainland Alaska will
limit fire weather concerns through the weekend.
Storm total precipitation now through Sunday morning is widespread
1 to 2 inches in a broad swath from Nome to Fairbanks and south
to the Alaska Range. A Flood Advisory has been issued for the
Nulato Hills and Southern Seward Peninsula with particular caution
on the Koyuk and Niukluk Rivers. A Flood Watch has been issued for
Middle Tanana Valley with particular interest in the Chena,
Chatanika, and Little Chena Rivers. Areas along the Chena River
especially have already been saturated from the previous rainfall
events early. Potential exists for additional water level rises
over the weekend for Chena River upstream of Moose Creek Dam. Do
not expect flood issue southward in the Salcha or Goodpaster River
basins at this time. However a Small Stream Advisory has been
issued for areas along the Alaska Range west of the Richardson
Other areas of concern will be the higher terrain with small
rivers or streams over the White Mountains extending west towards
Ray Mountains. Again, a lot of precipitation that will fall over
longer time but impact small streams and rivers.
Flood Watch for AKZ222.
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ200-PKZ210.
MAK JUL 16