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Area Forecast Discussion (AFD)

Issued by Fairbanks, AK (AFG)

FXAK69 PAFG 170027

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
327 PM AKST Fri Feb 16 2018

Multiple winter weather hazards along the West Coast will be the 
main forecast concerns through the weekend into next week as a
active, progressive pattern continues. Fairly benign weather
expected over Interior Alaska through the weekend as well for most
of the North Slope. Latest model guidance is in good agreement
through late Monday before some differences in details between the
GFS and ECMWF regarding the active, progressive pattern and the 
individual features in the flow over Interior Alaska next week.

West Coast and Western Interior...Active, progressive flow will
continue over the area throughout the forecast period. Blizzard
warnings for Saint Island, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea Coast
are in good shape. Given how quick individual features are moving
in the flow and the forecast conditions and winds, I have opted to
extend these two blizzard warnings into Sunday. There will be a
brief break in strong winds and blizzard conditions late tonight
into tomorrow morning for Saint Lawrence Island and Bering Strait,
then for the Chukchi Sea Coast tomorrow morning. The next round of
winds will be stronger with gusts to 65 to 70 mph possible for
zone 213 with blizzard conditions redeveloping late Saturday
afternoon. Zone 207 will see winds ramp up again with blizzard
conditions by late Sunday afternoon. Winter weather watches were
issued for zones 209, 210, 211, 212, and 214 starting tomorrow
evening. As the next weather front moves north and into the
southwest coast, southeast winds will increase through the
afternoon and evening over the Yukon Delta and Norton Sound Coast
with blowing snow and low visibility possible. Strong winds will
then develop over Interior Seward Peninsula and Kotzebue Sound by
tomorrow evening. Precip will initially be snow for zone 214, but
as warmer air aloft moves over the Yukon Delta, freezing rain will
mix with snow. For zones 210 and 211 may see up to 6 inches of
snow accumulation. The next system will arrive Mondnto Tuesday, ay
morning over the Bering Sea and then will progress north over the
Bering Strait Monday night into Tuesday with its associated front
moving inland. This system will bring a decent slug of moisture 
to the west coast, resulting in significant snowfall for Saint 
Lawrence Island, the upslope area in the southern Seward 
Peninsula, and along the western Brooks Range. Precipitation type 
will be primarily snow from the Seward Peninsula north and a 
wintry mix to south. Winds associated this event will also be a 
bit stronger as well. Will have to monitor.

Eastern and Central Interior...Mainly clear skies and quiet
weather is expected across the area through the weekend. May see
some clouds over the Central Interior tonight as a decaying front
stalls and weakens. Leeside trough develops and persists along 
the north side of the Alaska Range Saturday evening into Sunday
with gap winds in Alaska Range passes. An active pattern develops
over the Interior Sunday night into Monday as a weak shortwave 
moves east bringing a quick, but light shot of snow, maybe no more
than an inch or two. The second, but heavier shot of precipitation
is expected to start over the Central Interior Monday night and
then spread east reaching the eastern Interior by early Tuesday
morning. Precipitation type will be primarily snow, but may mix or
briefly change over to freezing rain initially. Precipitation will
continue across the area through late Tuesday. Will have continue
to monitor as winter weather hazards may be needed. From mid week
on several more rounds of snow are possible.

North Slope and Brooks Range...Strong winds and blowing snow will
develop this evening along the Western Arctic Coast from Point Lay
west and continue into tomorrow afternoon. Another round of strong
winds and potential blizzard conditions are possible from late
Saturday night into Sunday for both the western Arctic Coast and
western Brooks Range. Strong south to southeast winds will expand
east over Barrow Sunday morning and the eastern Arctic Coast late
Sunday afternoon with low visibilities in blowing snow possible.
The gradient along the eastern Brooks Range will strengthen
tomorrow and gap winds will increase, peaking around 25 to 30 kts.
Gap winds through Brooks Range passes will continue through Sunday
afternoon before weakening. May see a quick, but light shot of
snow Sunday night into Monday. Monday night a second, but heavier
round of snow will develop over the western Arctic Coast and then
spread east over the North Slope and Brooks Range through Tuesday.

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


Blizzard Warning for AKZ201-AKZ207-AKZ213.

Winter Storm Watch for AKZ209-AKZ210-AKZ211-AKZ212-AKZ214.

Gale Warning for PKZ210-PKZ220-PKZ225.

Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ200-PKZ230.