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Alaska Drought Monitor

FXAK68 PAFC 021236

Southcentral and Southwest Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Anchorage AK
436 AM AKDT Thu Jul 2 2020


On the planetary scale, the Rossby Wave pattern continues to
increase in amplification. The upper trough is located over the
Bering/Aleutians and the upper ridge extends northward from the
subtropical North Pacific into western mainland Alaska.
Teleconnections support the upper ridge continuing to build across
mainland Alaska while the upper trough is expected to remain over
the Bering/Aleutians.

On the synoptic scale, the subtropical-jet extends northeastward
from southern Japan to the western Bering/Aleutians. The jetstream
then sharply cuts south-southeastward into the subtropical
central Pacific (near Midway Island), then sharply cuts north-
northeastward to over Bristol Bay and the Seward Peninsula. An
upper low continues to remain nearly stationary over eastern
Siberia. A second upper-low over northeastern Alaska is slowly
moving eastward.

On the mesoscale, showers are moving southeastward across the
northern Gulf of Alaska from the Kenai Peninsula and across
Middleton Island.



Guidance is in good agreement over the next 72-84hrs with the
placement and intensity of synoptic scale features at both the
surface and in the upper levels. Due to this agreement, forecast
confidence is high. High resolution models were favored to resolve
local effects.


PANC...VFR conditions and light winds will persist.



The general pattern across Southcentral the next couple of days
will be dominated by an upper level ridge. This will promote a
continued warming and drying trend through the holiday weekend.At
times, weak shortwaves or upper level disturbances will move
through the flow. As a result, the risk exists for an isolated wet
thunderstorm or two mainly across the Alaska, Talkeetna and
Wrangells beginning Friday afternoon and continuing again for
Saturday afternoon. The air is expected to remain a bit more
stable across the Chugach Mountain Range, therefore, the
thunderstorms were left out of the forecast at this time.
Instability is very marginal but enough to have introduced the
risk for an isolated wet thunderstorm with the threat for a
lightning strike. Most of the activity will be of the heavy
downpour variety but the risk is there for one cell to become

Also, since temperatures warmed higher than projected across parts
of Anchorage, for example, Campbell Creek reached 75 degrees
yesterday, temperatures were raised slightly across the Anchorage
Bowl and the Mat-SU valleys for today and the next few days. Low
temperatures were lowered some across inland areas especially
Campbell Creek in the Anchorage Bowl and across the Copper River
Basin. Based on the latest model guidance, any showers and storms
that do develop should remain confined to the mountains as the
flow looks weak enough to not move this activity off the mountains
especially today and tomorrow. This is a high-bust potential
forecast for temperatures as if more clouds are present than
currently forecasted, temperatures could end up a few degrees
cooler than projected.


through Saturday)...

Frontal rainfall associated with a low in eastern Siberia can be
seen in radar this morning extending from Aniak to Dillingham.
This front will continue to push eastward throughout the day
today, but precipitation is expected to slowly dissipate by the
time the front reaches the Alaska Range Friday night. With the
passage of the front, upper level flow over Southwest Alaska will
transition from southwesterly to westerly, which will help to
advect a maritime layer over the region and bring low stratus and
patchy fog to coastal areas tonight and Friday night. Overcast
conditions will also help to keep high temperatures in the 50s and
60s over coastal areas, with inland temperatures in the mid to
upper 60s through Friday. As the ridge builds back overhead on
Saturday, temperatures will likely climb into the 70s over the
inland areas of Southwest. Showery activity is expected over the
Akpen through Saturday as some weak upper level energy moves
overhead from the north Pacific.


Thursday through Saturday)...

An upper level low over the western Bering will continue to move
northeast towards the Norton Sound today. Its corresponding
surface low will continue to weaken as the system moves, with
small craft winds diminishing along the front near the Yukon Delta
by midday today. As the system pushes out, a high amplitude ridge
will build over western Alaska through Saturday, which will allow
for lighter winds and low stratus over the eastern Bering through

The next upper level wave is expected to move off of the Kamchatka
Peninsula early Friday morning. This system has some decent
baroclinicity for this time of year, with a 850 mb temperature
spread of 10 degrees celcius across the warm and cold sectors of
the system. Due to the ridging over western Alaska, the upper
level energy stays nearly stationary over the Western Bering. As a
result, the main weather features will be two rounds of frontal
precipitation and small craft winds over the western
Bering/Aleutians. The first front will impact the western Bering
on Friday, with the second front moving from the western Bering
Friday night and reaching Dutch Harbor by Saturday night.


.MARINE (Days 3 through 5: Saturday through Monday)...

Gulf of Alaska: Easterly winds along the North Gulf Coast yield
to Westerly winds spreading across the Gulf by Mon. Confidence is
good the winds remain below small craft levels.

Aleutians and Bering: A elongated Western Bering low slips
towards Northern Kamchatka. Confidence is good for widespread
small craft winds and waves spreading from the Aleutians into the
Bering through Mon with pockets of Gale winds and waves across the
Central Aleutians dissipating through Sun.


LONG TERM FORECAST (Days 4 through 7: Sunday through Wednesday)...

The strong upper ridge over western Alaska Sunday weakens through
Wednesday. This allows short waves spinning off of the Bering Sea
trough to progress eastward across the Mainland. This pattern
change will bring intrusions of moisture from the west resulting
in cloudier conditions, increased chances of rain/showers, and a
lowering of daytime high temperatures across the southern
Mainland. Although the model trends are similar with the weakening
of the upper ridge, differences in solutions will pose a problem
in timing systems. So confidence is low on exact timing but fair
to good on a trend toward more clouds, cooler temperatures, and
chances of rain.

With the main upper low center and trough holding over the Bering
Sea expect generally mostly cloudy conditions with periods of
rain/showers, and gusty winds.






FXAK69 PAFG 020948

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
148 AM AKDT Thu Jul 2 2020

.SYNOPSIS...Showers on the West Coast and Western Interior this
morning will continue to push east into the Central Interior this
afternoon, but will remain generally west of Fairbanks as the
front decays and is pulled back to the northwest Thursday night.
High pressure will be building in over the Interior today with
clearing skies and warming temperatures.


Models, the 02/00z model suite initialized well against the 00z
surface analysis and verified well against the 06z surface
analysis. Model spread on feature location, strength and track is
minimal through the weekend and is reasonable into the early part
of next week.

Aloft at 500 mb a 532 dam low over the Chukotsk Peninsula will
continue to spin shortwaves north and east over the northern
Bering Sea, the Bering Strait and the West Coast of Alaska through
the weekend. Weak ridge of high pressure over the Western Interior
will weaken slowly ast it inches slowly to the east to dominate
the Central Interior into the weekend. A persistent upper level
low over the McKenzie Delta will remain in place through the
weekend before pushing east early next week. 850 mb temperatures
around 2 above over Fairbanks this morning will slowly increase to
around 8 above by Saturday as weak ridging builds in aloft. This
will produce a slow warming at the surface over the Central and
Eastern interior with temperatures rising from the upper 60s to
lower 70s this afternoon to the mid to upper 70s by Sunday afternoon.
Clouds and rain showers will initially keep temperatures steady
in the Western Interior today and tomorrow but as skies scatter
out over the Western Interior Saturday and Sunday temperatures
will rise into the low to mid 70s.

North Slope and Brooks Range...A weak front has pushed well off
shore as a second front approaches from the southwest. Surface
winds have returned to a easterly direction over most of the
slope which has brought a return to onshore flow with low ceilings
and fog over most to the Eastern coastal areas. except to the
eastern most areas remains in the area with cloudy conditions
prevailing for most of the area with a few showers. The front
moving north along the West Coast is spreading clouds to the
Northwest Coast. Easterly winds this morning of 5 to 15 mph will
increase this afternoon to 15 to 25 mph especially along the
Northwest Coast to the west of Point Barrow as the front

West Coast and Western Interior...Ongoing rain this morning will
begin to diminish this afternoon with another one quarter of an
inch expected. Winds inland variable 5 to 10 mph, but approaching
the coast winds will increase to 10 to 25 mph with the strongest
winds on the Capes. Expect water levels along the south facing
coastline of the Seward Peninsula to be around 1 to 2 feet above
the normal high tide line today with persistent 15 to 25 mph
southeast winds. Winds will diminish and become southwest in the
5 to 15 mph range this evening. Clouds and rain showers will keep
temperatures rather on the cool side with highs in the coastal
areas only making it into the 50s and the inland areas only seeing
60s through Friday.

Central and Eastern Interior...Isolated showers and thunderstorms
will be limited to the Eastern Interior and Eastern Brooks Range
and the western portions of the Central Interior to the west of
Fairbanks as a front moving over the West Coast will move into
the Central Interior. The front will weaken tonight and Friday
and will bring a few showers generally to the west of Fairbanks.
Temperatures warming into the upper 60s and lower 70s today and
into the lower 70s tomorrow. Temperatures will continue to warm
into the mid to upper 70s over the weekend. Winds will be variable
to 10 mph.

Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...A strong low is expected
to develop in the Southern Beaufort Sea/MacKenzie Bay Friday
night which will produce strong onshore winds along the Eastern
Arctic Coast. This may produce a push of ice to the coast east of
Prudhoe Bay impacting vessel traffic as well as the coast.
Continue to monitor.


.FIRE WEATHER...Showers in the west will keep things pretty quiet.
Drying condition in the Central and Eastern Interior through the
weekend. Some isolated thunderstorm activity this evening in the
Northeast Interior, otherwise it will be quiet through the
weekend. Relative Humidity values remain high, with excellent
overnight recovery, but they will begin to dry into the 20s to 30s
percent range in the Central and Eastern Interior this weekend.
Temperatures will rise into the low to mid 70s by the weekend with
mid to upper 70s expected by the weekend for the Yukon Flats. The
warmest temperatures and lowest relative humidity values are
expected again in the Yukon Flats, however no significant winds
expected through the weekend.


.HYDROLOGY...River levels continue to run at elevated levels on
the Yukon River as the high water from the Tanana and the Upper
Yukon move downstream. No flooding is expected but sloughs and
boggy areas along the river may see some water move into them. No
significant rainfall expected through the weekend. For the latest
river conditions go to


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



FXAK67 PAJK 021331

Southeast Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Juneau AK
531 AM AKDT Thu Jul 2 2020

.SHORT TERM.../Through Friday night/Another very warm possibly
record setting day in the works for the northern panhandle as
northerly outflow continues. Thu afternoon highs are expected to
reach higher then what was achieved yesterday with 80s likely for
many areas. This is all thanks to the northerly outflow from the
interaction between a surface high in the Alaska/Yukon Interior
and an area of low pressure over British Columbia. The resulting
pressure gradient is driving 25 kt winds down Lynn Canal and
Stephens Passage this morning. These northerly winds will also
cancel out the afternoon sea breezes that usually cool various
areas down, and cause some downslope warming in some areas. The
result is afternoon temperatures spiking across the northern
panhandle, and with daily records for today only in the 70s at
Juneau, Yakutat, and Sitka it is likely that some daily record
highs are going to fall.

The Southern panhandle meanwhile will not see the same warmth
that the north will. This is on account of two things. The first
is that the outflow is coming out of the wrong direction for this
area to benefit from any downslope warming. Second is the cloud
cover from the low in British Columbia that is currently over the
area and is expected to stay. There may even be a chance of some
showers from Sumner Strait southward today as well. The result is
that temperatures are not expect to get nearly as warm as the
north is today, but some areas seeing 70 is not out of the
question though.

Moving into Friday things are looking to be quieter and a little
cooler. The outflow is expected to have diminished overnight Thu
night so will not have as big an influence. So the usual sea
breezes are expected to return. Also more cloud cover is expected
over the area (mainly high clouds) on Fri as a piece of the BC
low detaches and drifts from the Southern panhandle into the NE
gulf. So overall, winds are expected to lighter for most areas,
and afternoon temperatures should only reach the low 70s for the
north and 60s for the south on fri.

Overall model agreement is good though there is some differences
on how long the outflow will last. The GFS favors it diminishing
this afternoon, while the nam hangs on to it into late tonight.
Favored the Nam on this as it has support from various other
models like the Canadian and the ECMWF.

.LONG TERM.../Saturday through Thursday/Synoptic subsidence and
even periodic weaknesses appearing across the gulf should promote
above normal temperatures and overall a very dry pattern for
Southeast Alaska.

Better resolution of one such wave has supplied a little more
confidence in a surface feature developing July 4th as it
transits the gulf. The key here is the low should stay offshore.
While keeping the northern Panhandle dry and without rain, we have
raised pops a little for the south, but only to a slight chance of
showers. The ECMWF though hints at a wetter late Saturday than
the other models. This solution is not so far in left field that
it is inconceivable, but for now it is an outlier. We did warm
temperatures everywhere a bit Saturday, as the late week heat wave
may not end quite so rapidly, despite added cloud cover.

The forecast needed very little change Sunday onward. Of some
interest, late operational model runs flatten the ridge by
Monday, much more pronounced than ensembles. This may keep
Southeast cloudier than what we wondered at this time 24 hours
ago. And perhaps cooler as well. Guidance hints at such. Still, we
are not thinking 50s and will instead prefer to keep temperatures
at or a few degrees above normal, mainly in the 60s. We elected
to hold firm to the forecasted temperatures until we see better
evidence of such a trend at this time tomorrow.

Next week`s forecast largely depends on energy from Bristol Bay
transferring into the western gulf early next week, then diving
southeast by mid- week to stall south of the Panhandle. Again,
despite a different synoptic pattern, warmer temperatures across
the Panhandle are favored. But this pattern comes with one key
difference: wrap- around moisture and upslope flow in Canada could
lead convection to creep across the border into the Inner
Channels. For this reason, we end the forecast with a chance of
showers. But this is by no means assured.

Forecast confidence is good for the overall synoptic trends of
above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall, even if
details are more difficult to clarify.


.FIRE WEATHER...With record high temperatures expected across the
northern panhandle and continued northerly outflow winds, RH
values are expected to plummet this afternoon. Most areas have
moist fuels from the recent rains, but some areas around Skagway
and Haines (which didn`t see as much rainfall) could be burnable.
Decided to issue some Red Flag Warnings for the Haines and Skagway
areas for this afternoon as a result.


.AJK Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
PUBLIC...Red Flag Warning from 10 AM this morning to 8 PM AKDT this
evening for AKZ018-019.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory for PKZ012-013-022-031-041>043.




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