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Area Forecast Discussion (AFD)

Issued by Fairbanks, AK (AFG)

FXAK69 PAFG 160005

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
305 PM AKST Thu Nov 15 2018

A fairly quiet stretch of weather is expected across most of 
Northern Alaska through the weekend. The exceptions include the
potential for blowing snow over interior summits, Tanana Valley,
and near the Alaska Range with gusty winds over the next couple
days. Models solutions similar regarding the overall synoptic
pattern and individual features through the first 50 hours with
solutions gradually diverging thereafter. 

Aloft, at 500 mb, a ridge extends from the northeast Pacific Ocean
over Interior Alaska and northwest over the Chukchi Sea and will
erode and be pushed southeast through Saturday as several
shortwaves and lows progress east. Troughing over the Bering Sea
and extends south of the Aleutians consists of two individual low
centers, a 525 dam low west of St Lawrence Island and a 539 dam 
low south of the Aleutians. The first will drift north into the
Gulf of Anadyr by Saturday morning, as the second moves north and
weakens in the southerly flow tonight over the Alaska Range and
Eastern Interior. A third low will move east from the northwestern
Pacific and move east along the Aleutians over the next 48 hours.
By Saturday afternoon, the trough over the Bering Sea will extend
to be south of the Aleutians with one low center over the Gulf of
Anadyr and another 200 miles south of Unalaska. This elongated
trough will slowly shift east to be over mainland Alaska by early

At the surface, a ridge of high pressure extends northwest to 
southeast from the eastern Arctic Ocean over the northeast half of
mainland Alaksa and into western Canada. This area of high
pressure will slowly be pushed east as a broad trough of low
pressure gradually shifts east and expands over mainland Alaska
through the weekend. An inverted trough over the eastern Bering
Sea extending from a low 500 miles southeast of Unalaska will
weaken tonight. A low 475 miles southwest of Shemya will move east
along the Aleutians and weaken through Saturday morning. By 
Saturday afternoon, this low will merge into a broad surface low
centered over Bristol Bay that extends east over Western Alaska
and the Bering Sea. This low complex will gradually drift east to
be over mainland Alaska by Sunday night. 

Eastern and Central Interior...Clear and cold conditions will
persist through tomorrow with warmer and cloudier conditions
expected for Friday and the weekend. Leeside troughing will
develop north of the Alaska Range later this evening with the
pressure gradient strengthening over elevated terrain and summits.
Will see gap winds in the Alaska Range ramp up this evening as
leeside trough develops. Gap wind speeds will peak during the day
tomorrow with winds in Isabel Pass flirting with advisory
thresholds (around 50 mph). Wind gusts up to 30 mph possible over
summits and elevated terrain tomorrow. Could see some blowing and
drifting snow in windy areas as well tomorrow. 

West Coast and Western Interior...Potential for periods of light 
snow will continue as a trough resides over the Bering Sea through
the weekend. South facing upslope areas in the Seward Peninsula
as well as the Nulato Hills and Yukon Delta Coast could see a few
inches of snow through the weekend. Could see freezing rain or
sleet mix in with the snow during the day Friday night into
Saturday with a pocket of warmer air aloft over the Yukon Delta
and Lower Yukon Valley. Warmer temperatures over the next couple
of days followed by a cooling trend late this weekend into next

North Slope and Brooks Range...An area of stratus over the western
Arctic Coast from Utqiagvik west has been gradually expanding 
east today. Guidance suggests that this area of stratus will
persist over this areas tonight and make some progress east this
evening. Winds will shift to the east by tomorrow afternoon and
increase through Saturday morning with the strongest winds over
the Beaufort Sea and Barter Island. Could see some blowing and
drifting snow, but not expecting any visibility reductions. 

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


Heavy Freezing Spray Warning for PKZ200-PKZ215-PKZ220-PKZ225-

Small Craft Advisory for PKZ200-PKZ210-PKZ215-PKZ220-PKZ225-