Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Fairbanks, AK

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000
FXAK69 PAFG 271014
AFDAFG

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
114 AM AKST Tue Feb 27 2024

.SYNOPSIS...
The return to the deep-freeze has begun as wind chills are already
dropping to 45 below F over parts of the NW Arctic and Bering
coasts. A low in the Gulf will shift southeast and troughing from
the arctic will settle over the Mainland, with temps plummeting
across the Mainland. Valley temps will push well into the -30 F
range with cold spots dropping into the -40 F range, Tuesday night
through Friday night, with only a very slow moderation this
weekend.

&&

.DISCUSSION...

Upper Levels and Analysis...
There is a strong 502 dam stacked low over the N Gulf Coast with
the associated occluded front stretching from Prince William Sound
all the way past Haida Gwaii in the SE Gulf of AK. There is a weak
shortwave trough over the E Interior from Tanana to Old Crow.
There is another shortwave trough moving east across the Arctic
Coast with heights around 500 dam. The associated surface frontal
zone is around 1007 mb and is currently north of Kaktovik. In the
Gulf of AK, that surface center is around 975 mb with north winds
across the Bering coast in response. 850 temps are already on a
downward trend and will continue to fall over the next 36 hours.

Model Discussion...
No major model discrepancy for the next several days as the
Mainland will remain under the firm grip of arctic troughing and a
strengthening surface high. The models don`t really begin to
diverge until late Saturday as Bering Sea energy tries to move
into SW Alaska. A couple days ago, it was the GFS model which
tried to send energy quickly into SW Alaska, now it is the ECMWF.
Basically, a small handful of models keep trying to show this.
For now, the main threat for any noteworthy precipitation is Saint
Lawrence Island to the YK Delta sometime late weekend. It will
remain below normal over the remainder of the Interior.

Central and Eastern Interior...
The cloud line extends from the Alaska Range to Fairbanks to
Eagle, and this represents the leading edge of the arctic
boundary. It looks like this will slowly sag southeast with light
snow flurries impacting the E Alaska Range to SE Alaska, with
dry weather northwest of there as the arctic trough digs. The deep
freeze arctic air will move in today and tonight as 850 hpa temps
plummet to near -28 C by Wednesday afternoon. Thus, temps will
fall across the board, with that arctic front also bringing strong
north winds through the AK Range passes, with wind chills of -40 F
or colder a concern, beginning tonight and persisting into Friday,
as north winds through the passes reach 20-30 mph. Elsewhere,
expect valley temps to drop to -30 F or colder as early as
tonight and continuing through the week, with highs struggling out
of the teens below zero.

West Coast and Western Interior...
Strong north winds have commenced with wind chills dropping to -45
F or so across the Bering Strait coast to the N Seward Peninsula.
North winds weaken this evening and overnight, but will remain
near 15 mph into Thursday from the Seward Peninsula northward, and
this will occur with dropping temps, so wind chill advisories will
remain in effect through Wednesday. Beyond this, a couple upper
level disturbances will move south and bring chances for light
snow showers beginning tonight and continuing into Thursday mainly
near the coast. Expect Interior valleys to drop into the -30 to
-40 F range by Wednesday night.

North Slope and Brooks Range...
A front is shifting east across the Arctic Coast, with areas of
light snow from Prudhoe Bay to Umiat. The surface center will push
east of Kaktovik today with increasing westerly winds to 25 to 35
mph from Point Thompson east, and 15 to 25 mph winds over Prudhoe
Bay. With falling temps, expect wind chills to fall to -50 C or
colder from Prudhoe Bay eastward beginning tonight and continuing
into at least Thursday. Expect areas of blowing and drifting snow,
as well, from Point Thompson eastward. For the Brooks Range
passes, wind chills will also be a concern as north winds
continue and temps fall.

A pair of weak fronts will clip the far W Arctic and bring very
light snow chances beginning Wednesday. Otherwise, temps drop
below seasonal norms across the board.

Extended Forecast Days 4-7...
Arctic troughing dominates the Mainland through mid-weekend and
then large divergence begins Sunday, as the ECMWF and ECMWF
ensemble has completely flip-flopped and now depicts Bering Sea
energy shifting inland, warming things up quickly and bringing
increasing snow chances to the West Coast and W Interior as early
as Sunday. Prior to this, most global models depicted troughing
over the Mainland dominating into early next week. For now, we
will favor a slower warming trend which is favored by the GFS and
Canadian global models.

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


&&

.AFG WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
AK...Wind Chill Advisory for AKZ809-812.
     Wind Chill Advisory for AKZ816>818.
     Wind Chill Advisory for AKZ820-821.
     Wind Chill Advisory for AKZ804.
     Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ805.
     Wind Chill Advisory for AKZ848-850.
PK...Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ801-805-850.
     Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ802-854.
     Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ803-804-851-852.
     Gale Warning for PKZ806.
     Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ807-853-856.
     Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ808-809-855.
     Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ810.
     Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ814-815-860-861.
     Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ816-817.
&&

$$

Ahsenmacher


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