Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK

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FXAK69 PAFG 232050

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
1250 PM AKDT Fri Mar 23 2018


Models...Solutions continue to be pretty sketchy beyond 48 hours,
and they are still overdoing the precipitation, so will need to
cut that back a bit. For the short term the NAM and GFS seems to
be doing the best right now, but none of them have a handle on
temperatures. In the midrange there is some concensus on the
blocking ridge slowly moving east over the Interior, but remaining
over the Central Arctic.

Aloft...At 500 hpa...Ridging over the central part of the state
with a 543 dam high near Point Barrow, while a 497 dam low over
Siberia continues to slowly move north and weaken. By Saturday
afternoon the high will be 500 nm north of Point Barrow at 537 dam
with the ridge axis extending south over Kodiak Island, while the
low will be the New Siberian Islands at 500 dam with the trough
extending southwest over Amchitka. A 501 dam low will develop east
of Banks Island Saturday morning and move south over the
Northwest Territories at 499 dam by Sunday morning. The ridge
remains over the state Sunday, but the high will be near Point
Barrow again at 535 dam with the axis extending southeast over
Valdez, then south. A low will develop in the trough to the west
north of Amchitka Saturday morning, and move east to the Pribilof
Islands by Sunday morning at 505 dam. The high over the Arctic
Coast will remain near Point Barrow through Monday morning at 533
dam, while the low over the Pribilofs will move over Nunivak
Island at 501 dam as it starts to ride up the western flank of the
ridge. At 850 hpa...Temperatures over most of the state area
generally around -5C, with colder air to the east and west. The
slightly warmer air will be squeezed out by the cooler to the east
and west through the weekend.

Surface...Trough of low pressure persists over the Gulf of Alaska
Coast and Southeast Panhandle. High pressure continues over the
eastern half of the mainland with a 1031 mb high in the Upper
Yukon Flats extending north to a 1038 mb high 600 nm north of
Demarcation Point. The high pressure over the Upper Yukon Flats
extends west to the Middle Yukon River Valley, then southwest to a
1025 mb high 300 nm south of Cold Bay. A broad area of low
pressure remains to the west and extends from the Siberian Arctic
south to the Western Aleutians. By Saturday afternoon the trough
over the Bering Sea will move east to lie from the New Siberian
Islands to the Gulf of Anadyr to a 982 mb low 250 nm north of
Atka, and the ridge of high pressure will be over the Beaufort Sea
extending southwest to the Eastern Alaska Peninsula, then south
over the Pacific. The trough over the Gulf coast will also shift
offshore. By Sunday afternoon the low in the Bering Sea will move
to just west of Nunivak Island at 976 mb, while the high pressure
continues to hang on over the northeastern half of the state and
Arctic with a 1022 mb high over the Northwest Territories, and a
1024 mb high over the southern Beaufort Sea.

Arctic Coast and Brooks Range...Blowing snow is the biggest issue
this evening, but winds will slowly diminish and visibility will
improve. Most of the low ceiling problems are just obscuration
from the blowing snow, so those will improve as well.
Unfortunately, the winds pick back up Saturday night, so expect
another round of poor visibility and low ceilings in blowing snow
Sunday. SPoRT NPP-VIIRS 24 hour Microphysics at 23/1827Z shows
mainly clear skies or high clouds over the area. Winds will
continue to be east at 15 to 30 mph diminishing this evening to 10
to 20 mph for most of the area. They increase again Saturday
night to 15 to 30 mph. No significant change in temperatures
through Sunday.

West Coast and Western Interior...Decaying occluded front moving
through the area will continue to weaken and pull north as it runs
up against the ridging over Interior Alaska. Expect a few spitty
snow showers along the front that may reduce visibility for a
short time, but not expecting any accumulations. A shortwave is
producing some showers that are moving north across St Lawrence
Island and will bring some showers to the Bering Strait Coast
tonight. A trailing low that is moving through the Bering Sea will
bring showers to the Lower Yukon Delta and St lawrence Island
Saturday during the day. The low stalls near St Matthew Island
Saturday night, then spins a front over the Lower Yukon
Delta Sunday spreading showers north to the Chukchi Sea, and into
the Western Interior. Winds will continue to diminish this
evening, then increase Saturday during the day on St Lawrence
Island and the Bering Strait Coast and adjacent areas. Not a lot
of change in temperatures through the weekend. Inland locations
can expect low in the single digits

Central and Eastern Interior...High pressure will persist over the
area with partly cloudy conditions prevailing. Expect strong
diurnal temperature changes through the weekend as the area cools
sharply at night under mostly clear skies and warms during the day
with the partly cloudy conditions. Winds generally light, but
Saturday night the Tanana Valley Jet will kick in around Delta
Junction and winds will increase to 20 to 30 mph and gusty into
Sunday evening. Winds around Nenana and over the flats south of
Fairbanks will also be breezy Sunday with 10 to 20 mph winds.
Also, gap winds in the Alaska Range kick in with the leeside
trough developing, and will be gusting to around 45 mph Sunday.


Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...None.


Extended Forecast for days 4 to 7...Still no faith in the extended
solutions. Will primarily go with the WPC solutions which will be
highly based on the ensemble mean. That being said, longwave
trough will be moving to the West Coast, then inland, while a
cutoff high will build over the Central Arctic and weak ridging
will persist over the AlCan Border. That will keep most of the
activity over the Western half of the state with generally fair
weather in the Central and Eastern Interior, and over the Arctic



Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ203-AKZ204.

Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ210-PKZ220-PKZ225-PKZ230-PKZ235-



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