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Alaska Drought Monitor

FXAK68 PAFC 030036

Southcentral and Southwest Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Anchorage AK
436 PM AKDT Mon Oct 2 2023


An upper-level trough continues to track eastward across Alaska,
with its attendant cold front now bringing colder air into
southcentral Alaska. A weak surface low remains ahead of the main
trough, with its center over the eastern Prince William Sound.
Precipitation continues to spread across portions of southcentral
Alaska, primarily east of the Cook Inlet. Snow levels have fallen
to around 2000ft behind the push of colder air and remain above
3000ft in the Wrangells and eastern Chugach out ahead of the cold
front. Further west over the Bering Sea and Aleutians, benign
weather conditions prevail under the influence of a high pressure
ridge. The pressure gradient between the aforementioned trough and
ridge are promoting gusty northwesterly gap winds along the
Alaska Peninsula and through the Barren Islands.



Models remain in good agreement with the overall synoptic pattern
over the next couple days. Model spread has decreased with the upper-
level low and surface front that enters the western Bering and
Aleutians starting Tuesday. This will bring a brief period of gale
force winds to the western Islands. Another low deepens as it enters
the AK Peninsula and eastern Aleutians Wednesday into Thursday.
Model spread remains large with regards to the depth and placement
of this low by the end of the week, ultimately affecting
precipitation placement and intensity.


PANC...VFR will prevail for the TAF period as rain continues to
taper off and east of the terminal as drier air moves in behind a
trough moving through this afternoon. Clouds will start to scatter
out this afternoon/evening, and winds are expected to intensify
out of the north before subsiding in the morning.


afternoon through Thursday night)...

The arctic trough and associated cold front will continue to move
eastward this afternoon and tonight. The trough axis is just about
over the Anchorage area as of 4PM this afternoon. As the best
lifting for precipitation moves east, conditions will begin to dry
and clear out this evening. Meanwhile, the Copper River Basin
remains in the favorable position for precipitation, east of the
trough axis until late tonight/early Tuesday morning. Temperatures
continue to be cold enough to support snow in the northern Copper
River Basin where a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect
until 4AM Tuesday morning. Up to an additional 2 inches of
accumulation is possible from Paxon northward to Isabel Pass, as
well as along the Glenn Highway and Tok Cutoff. As cold air
advection continues, so will gusty northerly winds out of Isabel
Pass; this could cause blowing snow for Paxon and areas northward.
Precipitation will end from west to east through Tuesday morning.
The rest of Tuesday and most of Wednesday will feature building
pressure heights and mostly quiet conditions over Southcentral.
However, portions of the northern Susitna Valley could get clipped
Tuesday by a shortwave dropping southward out of Siberia; most of
the energy associated with this shortwave should remain north and
west of the area though.

The weather pattern becomes active again for the second half of
Wednesday as a North Pacific low pushes its gale-force front
northward over Kodiak Island initially. Gusty winds and moderate
rain with pockets of heavier precipitation overspread the island
Wednesday afternoon. The front will continue to lift northward and
reach the northern Gulf Coast Thursday morning. In doing so, an
area of northeasterly storm-force winds will be possible in the
vicinity of the Barren Islands Thursday morning, with easterly and
northeasterly gales elsewhere along the north Gulf coastal
waters. Deep southerly flow and warmer air will accompany this
front. Confidence is high that coastal locations will see mostly
rain with this event. However, there might be enough cold air in
place in interior locations such as the Copper River Basin and
Susitna Valley Thursday morning that precipitation could start as
snow before mixing with and changing over to rain mid-day
Thursday. There are still questions regarding precipitation-type
as well as precipitation totals that will not be answered until
the event draws a little closer. Therefore, forecast confidence
for Thursday is not as high. Please stay tuned.


1 through 3)...

Key Messages:

-High Chance of Gale force winds for the western and central
Aleutians tonight through Tuesday night

-Medium Chance of Storm force winds for the western Bering tonight
through Tuesday night

-Medium Chance of Gale force winds for the AKPen & Bristol Bay area
on Wednesday


For Southwest AK, a weakening ridge and associated surface high
should continue to keep things relatively dry and clear across much
of the Southwest AK through Tuesday night. Under clear skies,
expecting temps to reach down tonight into the low to mid 20s for
interior AK and into the upper 20 to mid 30s along the AKPen. This
high pressure should continue shifting eastward through tonight
towards the Pribilof Islands then moving on-shore before being
absorbed into the mid/upper level flow. Next impactful system
expected by late Tuesday night as a low pressure pushes up from
the N Pacific towards the AKPen. Expecting this system to bring
light to moderate rain/showers and winds reaching Gale strength
along the southern portions of the AKPen and into Bristol Bay by

For the Bering & Aleutians, a large front moves into the western
Bering Sea tonight ahead of a deepening surface low. As this low
deepens, expecting the associated front and increased pressure
gradient to bring a high potential for Gale Force Winds (>=34kt),
and medium chance of Storm force winds (>=48kts) primarily west
of Adak through Tuesday night. Winds should start tapering off for
the Western Aleutians by late Tuesday night/Wednesday as the low
pulls north towards the Gulf of Anadyr.


.LONG TERM FORECAST (Days 4 through 7: Friday through Monday)...

An upper-level longwave trough, with embedded closed low centers,
will remain in place across southern mainland Alaska for the long
term forecast period. At the surface, model guidance suggests
this corresponds to a broad low pressure centered near the Alaska
Peninsula gradually shifting into the Gulf of Alaska. However, the
surface details are highly uncertain, with different model
solutions depicting differing low strengths and various individual
waves propagating through the flow.

At the beginning of the long term on Friday, a low centered over
the Alaska Peninsula is accompanied by a front spreading
precipitation across much of southern mainland Alaska, while northeasterly
winds are drawn from Interior Alaska out across the Kuskokwim
Delta. These winds are a point of disagreement in the model
guidance, as a result of uncertain strength in the pressure
gradient between the Alaska Peninsula low and high pressure over
the Chukchi Sea. As a result, while strong northeasterly winds are
likely to set up through the Kuskokwim Delta, there is moderate
uncertainty in what their intensity will be. Low end guidance
suggests sustained winds peak out near 25 mph, while the higher
end suggests gale force winds (>39 mph) are possible. The current
forecast favors the mid to higher end of this range.

Northeasterly winds flow out across much of the Bering Sea for
the end of the week, before a ridge moves in from the west and low
pressure shifts into the Gulf by Sunday. This reorients the winds
more northerly, while they become more limited to the eastern
Bering Sea, but affect a greater portion of Southwest Alaska. The
front over southern mainland Alaska weakens, leading to more
showery conditions, while southerly onshore flow continues to
wring out precipitation along the coast from Kodiak to Cape
Suckling through Sunday. The front may linger over Southcentral as
it pivots in response to an Arctic trough dipping southward
across Southwest Alaska. Model inconsistencies abound, so
generally expect continued above seasonal normal rain chances,
with no particular geographical focus among inland locations.

For Monday, there is moderate potential for winds out of gaps
along the Alaska Peninsula and western Gulf coast as low pressure
increasingly focuses in the Gulf and cold air looks to push south
across the Aleutian Range. Models also generally indicate a weak
(below gale force), disorganized low entering the western Bering
Sea at the start of next week.




FXAK69 PAFG 022251 AAA

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
251 PM AKDT Mon Oct 2 2023


Snow is continuing for the Eastern Interior and expected to last
through Tuesday morning. Strong winds could reduce visibility near
Delta Junction and south along the Richardson Highway. While snow
has mostly ended for Fairbanks, expect a returning chance for
later Tuesday morning as a trough moves from the west coast
tonight and quickly into the interior Tuesday morning. Snow
showers will prevail through at least midweek for western North


Upper Levels and Analysis...

A high amplitude trough is digging across the center of Alaska
stretching into the western Gulf of Alaska. At the base of the
trough is a central surface low over the northern Gulf of Alaska. Embedded
shortwaves continue to press north across the eastern interior of
the state and along the AlCan border. A slot of clearing is
notable with subsidence behind the trough. A upper level zonal
jet is approaching the Seward Peninsula and will continue toward
Norton Sound as the next, vigorous wave looks to dip across

Central and Eastern Interior...

Snowfall is continuing south and east of Fairbanks. The forecast
remains on track for significant snowfall and strong winds that
could reduce visibility for the Eastern Alaska Range, including
the Richardson Highway through Isabel Pass. Snowfall rates will
gradually ease this afternoon and taper off overnight. Westerly
winds along see an added surge with pressure rises following the
trough along the Alaska Highway.

Some clearing was observed in the central interior this morning,
but the window of clearing will narrow as the next trough quickly
presses into the interior from the Seward Peninsula. Expect
another wave of cool air and snow to begin Tuesday morning for the
central interior and Fairbanks. While the synoptic setup is in
reasonably good agreement, the details on how much the snow will
hang around as the trough continues into the eastern interior is
less certain. The southward extent of the base of this trough
could play a role in totals. There is moderate confidence in the
snowfall forecast overall, but lower confidence with snowfall
amounts for areas around Delta Junction, south and east.

West Coast and Western Interior...

Widely scattered showers are moving into the west coast near the
Seward Peninsula late this morning and is expected to continue
into tonight. The trough will carry precipitation inland around
midnight through Tuesday morning. Westerly winds could increase
during the day today, but should diminish Tuesday and shift
easterly. Precipitation will gradually decrease for Tuesday, but a
few showers could linger in Kotzebue Sound into Wednesday

Surface high pressure building across the interior midweek with
low pressure systems in the North Pacific and Bering Seas will
help to substantially ramp up winds out of the northeast for
Wednesday through at least Thursday.

North Slope and Brooks Range...

Upslope flow along the Brooks Range will continue to bring snow
from the Dalton Highway east with higher amounts closer to the
Range. Zonal flow will prevail in the short term that would keep
snow showers streaming into the western portions of the North
Slope through midweek. Probabilities will be highest during the
daytime each day as embedded troughs continue to sweep through
North Slope. Winds will range 10 to 20 mph with a more widespread
increase Wednesday night, 15 to 25 mph, into Thursday morning.
Temperatures near the coast will be around freezing during the day
and the upper 20s overnight. Further inland, closer to the Brooks
Range, span from the single digits to the teens at night and teens
and 20s during the day.

Extended Forecast Days 4-7...

Cold air appears to remain in place through the extended period.
The arctic low moves more east as a ridge builds over the interior
to the northern Bering. Low pressure over near the Alaska
Peninsula will lift a front into the central and eastern interior
for this weekend. More snowfall will be likely as this front
stalls, but there is low confidence in the locations and amounts
at this time. This will depend upon the placement of the low near
the Alaska Peninsula and the blocking hold the high pressure has over
the Bering Strait and Western Interior Alaska on any northward
progression. By the end of next weekend into next week, models
are hinting at some degree of phrasing of the Alaska Peninsula
low, forming a new low that closes off and migrates southwestward
across the state.

Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...
Northeasterly winds will develop for the later half of the week.
Winds through the Bering Strait could raise surf along St
Lawrence Island and northern facing coastlines of the Seward
Peninsula and Yukon Delta.


AK...Winter Weather Advisory for AKZ849.
Winter Storm Warning for AKZ850.
PK...Small Craft Advisory for PKZ801.
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ802.
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ850.
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ851.


FXAK67 PAJK 022253

Southeast Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Juneau AK
253 PM AKDT Mon Oct 2 2023

.SHORT TERM...A weakening low in the NE Gulf moved in more
showers to the AK Panhandle Monday. The low will linger overnight
then shift east into Canada through Tuesday. Rain showers and
winds will diminish from west to east as the front moves inland.
High pressure will pass over the area Tuesday night with some
clearing skies and a short dry period. Watching for fog
development due to the residual moisture and radiational cooling.
That said also watching if temps to drop a bit lower than model
guidance, especially for the northern half of the panhandle due to
the potential clear skies. A tightening N-S pressure gradient
overnight increases winds for the northern inner channels. The
next system and warm front will just track into the SW Gulf late
Tuesday night. Better indication of lower winds and cloud cover
for Tuesday night, otherwise any forecast changes were minor.

.LONG TERM.../Wednesday to the weekend/...
Quick notes:
-No real change in the weather pattern - still rainy and cloudy.
-Mid to late week rain is expected to be moderate to heavy.
-Gusty winds around 25 to 35 mph are possible for some inner
channel areas late Wednesday into Friday.
-25 to 35 knot wind speeds likely for the eastern and northeast
Gulf late Wednesday into through Thursday.

The Details:
EURO and GFS 500mb ensemble means are in good agreement
about the long term starting with a passing trough and switching to
a ridge.

At the surface, Wednesday looks to start off mostly dry with partly
sunny skies. But an incoming front will bring rain and wind to
the area beginning Wednesday lasting into the weekend.

Rain would start in the south and move northward with the heaviest
rainfall amounts happening in the northern half. Starting with the
assumption that the timing doesn`t change, it looks like Thursday
has the highest chance for the heaviest rain with over 2 inches
likely along the northeast gulf coast. Friday could see widespread 1
to 2 inch amounts.

Using the latest NBM data, there is about a 20-30% chance for
rainfall amounts to be greater than a 2 year return interval. Some
isolated locations have a 5-10% chance for rainfall amounts to be
greater than a 5 or 10 year return interval.

But remembering that this dataset usually has a wet bias, still
thinking that while yes, this next round of rain will be heavy,
the impacts should be minimal.


.AVIATION.../Through Tuesday afternoon/...Expect more of the same
for the next 24 hours: Marginal VMC due to CIGs and VSBY with
periods of IMC in continued shower activity across all of
Southeast Alaska. Onshore flow perpendicular to ridge tops will
produce some turbulence at and below the terrain, but no LLWS is
expected - as was the case today based on PIREPS received. Typical
Autumn weather for Southeast Alaska, except not too windy right


MARINE...Small Craft Advisory for PKZ012-013-022-053-641>644-651-652-




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