Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK

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FXAK69 PAFG 200039
AFDAFG

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
339 PM AKST Tue Feb 19 2019

.DISCUSSION...
Blizzard conditions are ongoing across the eastern Arctic Coast
this afternoon, winds will diminish this evening and overnight
west to east, with conditions improving. A strong low moving
north over the eastern Bering Wednesday and Thursday will bring
strong winds, snow, and blowing snow to areas generally south of
the Bering Strait beginning early Wednesday morning for the Yukon
Delta, spreading north through the day.

Aloft, at 500 mb, a ridge axis extends north from a high in the
northwest Pacific and along the West Coast this afternoon and a
low is developing southwest of the Pribilofs. The low deepens and
lifts northeast overnight to be near St Matthew Island by
Wednesday morning pushing the ridge axis eastward across the
Western Interior. The low continues a northern track to be located
southwest of St Lawrence Island Wednesday afternoon, further
pushing the ridge axis east, with a closed high developing near
Point Lay Wednesday. Thursday morning, the low will be near the
western Seward Peninsula and will weaken through the day to become
a weak wave in the general flow. The high lifts northwest to be
centered near Wrangel Island by Thursday morning and becomes
cutoff from the main ridge, as a shortwave moves east over
southern Alaska. Behind the low, ridging will build in across the
Bering Sea Thursday, the West Coast Thursday night, and into the
Western Interior Friday.

Surface...High pressure is building north across the Western
Interior and western North Slope this afternoon. High pressure
will slide eastward across the state tonight and Wednesday,
pushing east the weakening low that was north of Prudhoe Bay this
morning.

A 984 mb low 175 NM southwest of St Paul Island this afternoon
will move north tonight and deepen to be a 974 mb low 50 NM
southeast of St Matthew Island early Wednesday morning. The low
will move north northeast during the day Wednesday to be a 974 mb
low 75 NM southwest of St Lawrence Island Wednesday afternoon.
Movement of the low slows Wednesday night as the low weakens to be
a 988 mb low located 25 NM north northeast of St Lawrence Island
Thursday morning. The low moves northeast Thursday, continuing to
weaken, to be a 1003 mb low located near Nome Thursday afternoon,
and dissipating Thursday night.

A 1022 mb high centered 150 NM north of Wrangel Island Wednesday
afternoon will stretch southeast across the Beaufort Sea Wednesday
night. The high will strengthen slightly to 1024 mb as it moves
southeast to be centered 200 NM northeast of Utqiagvik Thursday
afternoon, continuing to deepen Thursday night as it moves to be a
1026 mb high centered 150 NM northeast of Prudhoe Bay early
Friday morning, continuing to move southeast through the day.

Models...12Z model suite initialized fair against the 12Z RAOBS
and 12Z surface obs. Models continue to undercut the strength of
the 500 mb ridge, with the ridge stronger than what models are
advertising. Models initialized the low north of Deadhorse too far
off the coast and were 2 to 3 mb too high with the pressure
across Kotzebue Sound at 12Z and 18Z. Models seem to be in better
agreement today, with the NAM being the outlier in the timing and
track of the low moving north in the Bering.

North Slope and Brooks Range: Blizzard conditions are ongoing over
the eastern Arctic Coast this afternoon, as a low moves east
towards Demarcation Point and a weather front moves through.
Winds will diminish this evening in zone 203, allowing for
conditions to improve. Winds will remain strong and gusty in zone
204 through much of the overnight hours, keeping visibility low.
Strong west to northwest winds continue in the eastern Brooks
Range through this evening with winds gusting to 45 mph,
resulting in areas of blowing snow and reduced visibility. Tighter
pressure gradient develops south of the Brooks Range Wednesday
and Thursday with south winds gusting to around 30 mph.

West Coast and Western Interior: A strong low moving north in the
western Bering will bring strong gusty winds, snow, and blowing
snow to the West Coast Wednesday and Thursday. The strongest winds
will largely be south of the Bering Strait, with gusts to 60 mph
possible. Expect areas of blowing snow to develop, with visibilities
below one quarter of a mile in some locations. Snowfall will
largely be south of a line from Noatak to Ambler, with snowfall
totals of 2 to 3 inches expected for much of the area through
Thursday and the Bendeleben Mountains north of Nome.

Central and Eastern Interior: Patchy snow and flurries continue
across the Interior this afternoon, ending this evening. Gusty
winds have developed today on summits across the Interior,
resulting in areas of reduced visibility due to blowing snow.
These winds will relax this evening and tonight. Pressure
gradient tightens across the Interior on Wednesday, as the low in
the Bering moves north, bringing gusty winds to the summits of
the Central Interior. The Tanana Valley Jet develops Wednesday
morning, peaking Wednesday afternoon and evening, with gusts to 40
mph likely. Southerly gap winds return to the Alaska Range Passes
Wednesday and Wednesday night and look to remain below advisory
level.

Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4 ...A strong low moving
northeast across the Chukotsk Peninsula Friday will bring elevated
water levels to the Southern Seward Peninsula around Nome, and St
Lawrence Island around Gambell. We are not anticipating
significant impacts at this time, but will continue to watch as
the system develops.


&&

.AFG WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Storm Warning for AKZ211-AKZ213-AKZ214.

Blizzard Warning for AKZ203-AKZ204.

Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ206-AKZ212-AKZ218-AKZ220.

Gale Warning for PKZ200-PKZ210-PKZ240-PKZ245.

Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ215-PKZ220-PKZ225-PKZ235.
&&

$$

FEB 19


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