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Area Forecast Discussion (AFD)

Issued by Fairbanks, AK (AFG)

                            
768 
FXAK69 PAFG 182113
AFDAFG

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
113 PM AKDT Wed Apr 18 2018

.DISCUSSION...

Aloft...The high pressure ridge extending through the state is
starting to tilt to the west and recede, so the anticipated shift
in the weather is on track for Thursday into Friday. The trough 
of cold air that will move south and west from Demarcation Point 
in the next couple of days will have the opportunity to do so with
the ridge moving out of the way. The high in the Arctic will then
become a closed high and shift west with a ridge extending down 
through the Chukchi Sea. This high coupled with the low by 
Demarcation Point will produce northerly flow the next couple of 
days. So still expecting a drop in temperatures on the surface 
with this regime change. The upper level low that has been working
its way along the north side of the Aleutian Islands will move 
into the Gulf of Alaska Saturday, also influencing a shift in our 
weather later in the week. 

Models...Models in broad scale are all in agreement with the shift
in weather. Details vary in exact placement of the incoming cold
air trough differ, but not so much that it presents an issue.
Models also do well with placement of precipitation moving into
the Interior later this week. Forecast confidence is high as a
result.

Surface...

Eastern and Central Interior...still expecting fair weather to 
give way to an inbound cold front overnight Thursday into Friday. 
This will drop temperatures in the Interior about 5 degrees 
overnight with highs dropping to around the freezing mark on 
Friday for many areas. While cold air works its way down from the
north on Friday, snow showers will work their way into the 
Eastern Interior from the southeast extending north from the low 
moving into the Gulf of Alaska. Highest potential of snow looks 
to be along the Alaska Range and southeast of Fairbanks. Snow will
end Saturday morning. Also of note, gap winds are expected to 
develop along the Alaska Range Friday and Saturday due to a 
pressure gradient setup. They are not expected to reach advisory 
level. Temperatures will rebound quickly on Sunday and by next 
week the extended guidance is showing we will be into breakup with
high temperatures in the 50s in the Middle Tanana Valley.

West Coast and Western Interior...The decaying front still hangs
on stretching from the south side of the Seward Peninsula 
southeast through the Y-K Delta and then into South Central 
Alaska. The front has decayed to the point where it is mainly just
cloud cover, but some isolated showery precipitation may fall. 
The front is expected to keep slowly falling apart, with not much 
weather out of it from here on out. From the northern side of the 
Seward Peninsula through the northwest coast, the main issue is 
still strong winds. These winds are expected to taper off tonight,
leaving the area quiet going into the weekend.

North Slope and Brooks Range...Blowing snow and fog is an issue
along the North Slope. On the Eastern North Slope blowing snow 
mixed with fog along the coast has created visibility restrictions
and hazards for those traveling the Dalton Highway. This is due 
to strong winds out of the east, with highest winds close to the 
coast. Conditions will ease temporarily through this evening, but 
am expecting fog to be an issue again tomorrow morning...though 
winds will diminish to about 15 mph so blowing snow will not be a 
factor. An area of high winds is producing similar conditions on 
the Western Arctic Coast around Point Lay. These conditions are 
also expected to continue into tomorrow morning. After tomorrow 
morning, fog could continue to linger but things should be calming
down. The Western Brooks Range continues to see windy conditions.
Valley areas should calm down tonight but areas of higher terrain
will stay windy into the weekend.


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


&&

.AFG WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Wind Advisory for AKZ217-AKZ219-AKZ220-AKZ221.

Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ201.

Small Craft Advisory for PKZ200-PKZ210.

Brisk Wind Advisory for PKZ215-PKZ220-PKZ225-PKZ230-PKZ235-
PKZ240-PKZ245.
&&

$$

BJB APR 18