Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK

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FXAK69 PAFG 260030

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
330 PM AKST Sat Feb 25 2017

Very busy weather pattern continues across Northern Alaska with all
but two of our forecast zones currently have some type of winter
weather hazard. A significant winter storm bringing heavy snow,
strong winds and blowing snow will are the main concerns across
our forecast area over the next 24 to 36 hours. Models remain
fairly consistent with the exception of the 25/12Z and 25/00Z GFS
runs lowering snowfall amounts across the forecast area due to
windy conditions and warmer temperatures as well as being a bit
slower than what is actually progressing with the event. Deterministic
model suite is in good agreement through the middle of next week.
Made minor adjustments to the inherited forecast based on the
latest guidance.

Aloft...Strong zonal flow will develop over Northern Alaska as
the upper low over the Gulf of Anadyr continues to slowly treks
north and weakens. Abundant moisture, source region being in the
tropical regions in the western Pacific, continues to be streamed
northeast and into the developing zonal flow aloft. Per the latest
NAFES standardize anomalies, precipitable water associated with
this stream of moisture is 2 to 3 standard deviations above
normal, with values dissipating to 1 to 2 standard deviations
above normal as moisture reaches Interior Alaska. An upper level
trough will swing southeast late Sunday evening across the
Northwest, then will progress southeast over Interior Alaska
Monday, becoming a 504 dam closed low over the SE by Tuesday
morning. In its wake, strong cold air advection will commence,
allowing temperatures at H850 to plummet 10c to 15C from west
Monday morning to the east Tuesday morning.

Surface...A 989 mb low over the Gulf of Anadyr will track
northeast and over the Chukchi Sea as a 1000 mb low Sunday
morning. A trough of low pressure extending east and over the
Arctic Coast and Brooks Range will persist into early Monday
morning then shift south and weaken Monday. Surface high pressure
currently near the New Siberian Islands will gradually build south
into eastern Siberia and the western Bering Sea by Monday
afternoon. This area of high pressure will continue to build over
the Gulf of Anadyr and Chuktosk Peninsula, while expanding east
over mainland Alaska into late next week.

Western Interior and West Coast...Conditions have improved and
snow has ended quicker than what was previously advertised. The
back edge of the main precipitation shield is quite evident on the
IR sat imagery as well as the on the Nome radar as it progresses
east over the western Seward Peninsula and Norton Sound this
afternoon. As a result, have cancelled the winter storm warnings
for the Bering Strait Coast and the souther Seward Peninsula Coast
early since snow has ended and conditions have improved. Some
consideration will have to be given to other winter storm warnings
and winter weather advisories this evening to see if conditions
warrant the early cancellation of any of the hazards for the West
Coast. Spotty reports of freezing rain have also been reported,
but those sites have quickly gone back to snow. Heavy snow will
continue over the Kobuk and Noatak Valleys as well as the western
Brooks range through tomorrow morning. Over a foot of new snow
accumulation is forecast for these areas. A cooling trend towards
below normal temperatures will start early next week with below
normal temperatures persisting for most of next week.

Arctic Coast and Brooks Range...Blizzard warnings for the western
Arctic Coast and Barrow seem to be in good shape. Snowfall
accumulations of 3 to 8 inches is forecast for the western Arctic
Coast. Conditions have deteriorated some over the Central
Beaufort Sea coast this afternoon and the expectation is that it
will continue to do so. Winter weather advisories are currently
out for the central and eastern Beaufort Sea Coast. Conditions
across the Arctic Coast should improve from east to west Sunday
afternoon and evening. Winds through Brooks Range passes will
increase, especially in the eastern Brooks Range, where conditions
will deteriorate quickly this evening and improve Sunday
afternoon. Starting early next week, temperatures will cool
quickly to below normal values and will persist into late next

Eastern and Central Interior...Snow will spread east over the
Interior late this afternoon into this evening with heavy snow
this evening and tonight. In warned areas, 6 to 10 inches is
forecast, heaviest in the upslope areas. In the Fairbanks areas,
could see 7 to 8 inches with higher amounts north and east of
Fairbanks. In areas under a winter weather advisory, 4 to 9
inches are forecast. Southwest winds will be the strongest of
highway summits and over higher terrain and will create blowing
and drifting snow and low visibility. Snow will diminish from west
to east Sunday. Cold overnight temperatures of 20 to 30 below
under clear skies will return by Wednesday morning. Colder than
normal temperatures will persist into late next week, if not into
next weekend.


Winter Storm Warning for AKZ207-AKZ208-AKZ209-AKZ210-AKZ212-

Blizzard Warning for AKZ201-AKZ202.

Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ203-AKZ204-AKZ205-AKZ206-AKZ214-

Gale Warning for PKZ210-PKZ230-PKZ235.

Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ200-PKZ215-PKZ220-PKZ225-PKZ240-


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