Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK

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FXAK69 PAFG 281305
AFDAFG

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
505 AM AKDT SAT MAY 28 2016

.DISCUSSION...

Relatively quiet and beautiful weather is expected for much of
Northern Alaska through most of the forecast period. The 28/00z
deterministic models are in good agreement through Tuesday
regarding the overall placement of synoptic features...then slowly
diverge thereafter...though only with the timing and strength of
features.

The main feature of concern is the strong upper level ridge
currently parked over Western Alaska. This ridge will remain in
place today, but will then start to retreat westward Sunday into
early next week. An upper level shortwave will move south along
the eastern periphery of the ridge, moving over the Upper Tanana
Valley and Eastern Alaska Range Sunday afternoon. This shortwave
will move east to west south of the Alaska Range through Tuesday
morning. The aforementioned upper level ridge will then build back
east Tuesday. An upper level low will drop south from 80N and over
the Beaufort Sea Wednesday, weakening the upper level ridge and
pushing it west over Eastern Siberia. However, there are
differences between the GFS and ECWMF regarding this low where the
GFS is a bit faster bringing the low south. Meanwhile, an upper
low in the Northern Pacific moves north and into the Gulf of
Alaska Wednesday and then moves west along the coast Wednesday
evening and Thursday. At the surface, a 1034 mb high pressure will
move south and east towards the Beaufort Sea coast increasing the
pressure gradient along the Arctic Coast this evening through
Sunday evening, then will shift east towards Banks Island early
next week.

Arctic Coast and Brooks Range...Easterly flow will increase this
evening into the overnight as the pressure gradient along the
Beaufort Sea Coast increases. East winds in the Beaufort Sea will
reach minimum Small Craft criteria Sunday and persist into Monday
before subsiding as high pressure moves east towards Banks Island.
Low ceilings in stratus have been reported along the Arctic Coast.
Expect low ceilings in stratus to persist today, but should start
to see ceilings lift and clear out late this evening and
overnight. Fog may become an issue as temperatures warm and ice-
free waters increase, so have placed the mention of areas of fog
during the overnight periods.

West Coast and Western interior...Clear skies, warm temperatures,
and dry conditions will persist across Western Alaska as the
upper level ridge remains overhead through early next week. Saint
Lawrence island is the exception where fog, at times below a mile,
was reported at both Gambell and Savoonga overnight. Webcam
imagery from Gambell shows that the low visibility in fog still
persists and thus have included the mention of fog in the forecast
for Saint Lawrence island this morning as fog is expected to
diminish. As the short wave moves west to east along the Gulf
Coast of Alaska Monday...it may spark off a few thunderstorms
Monday afternoon and evening over the Upper Kuskokwim Valley.

Eastern and Central Interior...Skies have cleared out overnight
across much of the eastern and central interior. There are still
some lingering clouds over the Upper Tanana Valley. Warm and dry
conditions are expected all weekend. Will see an increase in
shower activity Saturday evening over the Southeast Interior as
the upper level low moves south. A few isolated thunderstorms are
possible from Chicken south on Sunday as instability increases
over the area. Areal coverage for the possibility of thunderstorms
expands Monday to include all of the Alaska Range from McGrath
east to the ALCAN border as the shortwave moves west.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...A warming and drying trend will continue into
early next week. On Sunday conditions could approach
meteorological red flag criteria in zone 215; however, at this
point there is not enough confidence to issue any fire weather
products. No thunderstorm activity is expected through Saturday.
There is the potential for some isolated thunderstorms on Sunday
in the far southeastern corner of the forecast area. On Monday the
coverage area for the isolated thunderstorms expands to include
all of the Alaska Range.


&&

.HYDROLOGY...Do not anticipate any issues. With the warmer
temperatures, expect to see some snowmelt allowing for increased
runoff over the weekend with potential rises in the rivers.
However, there is no concerns at this point even with the
increased runoff.

&&

.AFG WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ230.
&&

$$

LTH MAY 16


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