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Area Forecast Discussion (AFD)

Issued by Fairbanks, AK (AFG)

FXAK69 PAFG 242316

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
216 PM AKST Sat Feb 24 2018

The 12z model suite initialized well against the 12z surface 
analysis and verified well against the 18z surface analysis. 
Model spread is minimal in the short range as well as mid range. 
Model spread is remarkably low in the extended range as a high 
amplitude ridge builds over the Bering Sea through the middle of 
next week. 

Aloft at 500 mb a cold upper level low 150 NM north of Banks 
Island will move south and west to be located just west of Banks 
Island Sunday morning as an upper level low pushes east out of the
Bering Sea near Nunivak Island Sunday evening. The upper level 
low over Nunivak Island continues to move east and then northeast
and is absorbed by the strong upper level low over Banks Island as
it also flattens the upper level ridge over south central Alaska 
Monday morning. A cold airmass flows into a trough rotating south
and southeastward over central and eastern interior of Alaska 
Monday and Tuesday with 850 mb temperatures dropping into the 20s 
below over northeastern Alaska and into the 15 to 20 below range 
over central and eastern interior. A strong ridge builds over
eastern Siberia and the western Bering Sea Tuesday and Wednesday
which slowly drifts to the east with the ridge axis moving over 
the western capes Wednesday and western Alaska Thursday. The 
ridge axis continues to drift to the east and will be centered 
over central Alaska Friday. As the upper level high pressure ridge
moves slowly over the west coast and central Alaska cold and
relatively dry conditions will prevail over northern Alaska.

On the surface a 976 mb low pressure system currently 150 nm
northwest of Banks Island will continue to drop south and
southwest toward the McKenzie Delta and will continue to increase
winds and snow along the eastern north slope. On going blizzard
warnings on track with blizzard conditions reported at many sites
east of the Dalton Highway. Winds are expected to gust to 65 mph 
tonight as the low approaches and a barrier jet develops along the
eastern Brooks Range. Winds will also increase tonight and 
tomorrow along the central and western north slope where winter 
weather advisories for blowing snow have been issued.

Mostly clear conditions are found over the northern interior 
under weak high pressures while clouds and light snowfall over the
Lower YK Delta push north and east into the southern interior
tonight. Clouds and generally less than an inch of snow is 
expected in these areas as a weak low pressure system moves east 
from near Nunivak Island to near Kodiak Island where the low is 
absorbed by a deeper low pressure system over the panhandle.

A second low pressure system a 986 mb low currently 150 nm south
of Sheyma will move north into the southwest Bering Sea tonight 
and then move northeast to be located over Nunivak Island as a 981
mb low Monday morning. The low will bring another round of 
precipitation over the lower YK Delta late Sunday night and the 
southwestern interior Monday morning. Snow will move into the 
souther portions of the central interior Monday afternoon. 
Generally 2 to 4 inches of snow is expected over the lower YK 
Delta and 1 to 3 inches expected over the southern interior 
Monday. This low rapidly moves south and east over the northern 
Gulf of Alaska Tuesday. 

Will need to monitor a 966 mb low that is forecast to move rapidly
south over the high Arctic to be located 350 nm northwest of 
Point Barrow Monday evening and is forecast to weaken to 974 mb as
it moves on shore near Point Barrow Tuesday morning. Will need to
monitor for strong winds, snow and blowing snow developing along 
the western north slope Monday night and Tuesday. As this storm 
pulls east along the north slope Tuesday and Wednesday a 
reinforcing shot of cold air moves south and southeast into 
northern Alaska.

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


Blizzard Warning for AKZ203-AKZ204.

Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ201-AKZ202-AKZ205-AKZ206.

Heavy Freezing Spray Warning for PKZ210.

Gale Warning for PKZ240-PKZ245.

Small Craft Advisory for PKZ210.

Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ230-PKZ235.