Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK
FXAK69 PAFG 272324
Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
324 PM AKDT TUE SEP 27 2016
.DISCUSSION...The models continue to be in good agreement in the
short term. The main forecast challenge continues to the potential
for elevated surf and localized coastal flooding in Norton and
Kotzebue Sounds tonight into tomorrow (see the west coast section
below for more details on this).
Aloft...A fairly progressive pattern over the next few days. At
500 hpa a ridge with along a Wainwright to Bristol Bay axis will
quickly move to the east across the state tonight. By 10 AM
tomorrow morning the ridge axis till be roughly located along a
line from Deadhorse to Fairbanks, by tomorrow evening the ridge
axis will be over the Yukon Territory. The ridge will be pushed
eastward by a quickly advancing upper level trough. The axis of
the trough will be along a line from the Chukotsk Peninsula to
Bethel at 4 AM Wednesday, by 4 PM Wednesday the axis of the
trough will be along a line from Wainwright to Fairbanks. As this
trough moves east a high amplitude ridge will build across the
state Thursday night. This ridge will dominate the upper level
pattern through Saturday.
Surface...A cold front currently over the Bering Sea front will
move inland along the west coast tonight and to the western
interior by Wednesday afternoon moving rapidly east across the
state late Wednesday into the Yukon Territory.
West coast and western Interior...The cold front mentioned above
will bring impactful weather the the west coast tonight into
tomorrow. Strong winds associated with the front will bring high
surf conditions to much west coast beginning tonight and
continuing into tomorrow. The high surf advisories that are out
for zones 207, 209, 211 and 214 still look to be on track. The
westerly winds will help to push water into the eastern end of
Norton Sound, this will result in some minor coastal flooding in
zone 212, particularly in the area between Unalakleet an
Stebbins. The coastal flood warning that is out for zone 212 seems
to be on track. The front will bring widespread precipitation as
it moves across the west coast tonight and the western Interior
tomorrow. I expect that in places generally south of Ambler will
see mostly rain for the precipitation type tonight and tomorrow.
North of Ambler the precipitation type will be snow. In zones 208
and 217 (north of Ambler) 4 to 7 inches of snow is possible late
tonight into tomorrow afternoon. I decided to issue a Winter
Weather Advisory for the areas north of Ambler in zone 217 from
early tomorrow morning into tomorrow afternoon.
Arctic Coast...As the front moves eastward on Wednesday and
Wednesday night expect widespread precipitation across the area.
As far as precip type goes, it will be a mixed bag. With the
exception of the eastern Brooks Range no significant snow accumulation
is expected. In the eastern Brooks Range (east of the Dalton
Highway) around 3 inches of snow is expected Wednesday night into
Thursday morning. As the ridge builds in late in the week there
will be a warming tend in temperatures. Winds along the coast will
generally be 10 to 25 mph Wednesday before decreasing on Thursday.
Central and Eastern Interior...A weather front that pushed across
the Interior today is near the ALCAN border and will push out of
the state this evening. This front brought the first trace of
snowfall to Fairbanks this season. Another front will push across
the Interior tomorrow into tomorrow night. Primarily this will be
a rain event; however, there will be a bit of snow mixed with the
rain at times, particularly during the overnight hours. A warming
trend in temperatures is expected as the ridge builds in late in
Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...In addition to the coastal
hazards mentioned above in the west coast section, another
weather system may bring southeasterly as high as 40 kts to Norton
and Kotzebue sounds for a 24 hour period Friday night into
Saturday evening. We will have to continue to monitor the forecast
guidance as this situation evolves.
.HYDROLOGY...A weather front will bring widespread rainfall to
northern Alaska tonight into tomorrow morning. Rivers are
generally low, so the rainfall is not expected to cause any
Coastal Flood Warning for AKZ212.
High Surf Advisory for AKZ207-AKZ209-AKZ211-AKZ214.
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ200-PKZ215.
Gale Warning for PKZ210-PKZ220-PKZ225-PKZ230.