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Alaska Drought Monitor


627
FXAK68 PAFC 191723 CCA
AFDAFC

Southcentral and Southwest Alaska Forecast Discussion...CORRECTED
National Weather Service Anchorage AK
923 AM AKDT Sat Oct 19 2019

.ANALYSIS AND UPPER LEVELS...

A large upper level low remains in place over the Bering and a
second upper level low is centered over the Gulf. At the surface
level, a weakening low just northwest of the Pribilofs continues
to bring in colder air over the western Bering. Meanwhile, a weak
low has spun up over Unalaska Island, bringing cloudy skies and
rain to the eastern Aleutians, which will eventually lift to the
northeast and spread in over the Alaska Peninsula.

The low in the Gulf is centered just southeast of Middleton Island
and is moving southwest. Gusty easterly winds persist along the
northern Gulf coast this morning and showers are evident on radar
imagery over Prince William Sound.

&&

.MODEL DISCUSSION...

Models remain in good agreement through the weekend. By Sunday
night, models show a few different solutions for the location of
a low lifting over the eastern Aleutians/southern AKPEN. There are
also differences in the position of another low entering the
western Gulf on Monday. There is average confidence in the
forecast and the NAM solution was preferred for the morning
forecast package.

&&

.AVIATION...

PANC...VFR conditions and light winds will persist. Slight chance
of MVFR ceilings with showers in the vicinity.

&&

.SHORT TERM FORECAST SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA (through Sunday night)...

A series of weak upper waves lift north across Southcentral
through the the weekend. The first of the waves moves north
across the Cook Inlet Region this afternoon and into the interior
tonight. Mid to upper level flow becomes more southerly bringing
some light overrunning snow to the northern Susitna Valley and
Talkeetna Mountains. Lower elevations to the south will see some
rain showers or pockets of light rain. Precipitation diminishes
inland tonight after the trough passage. However, continued east
flow over the eastern Kenai Peninsula will continue rain in that
region. On Sunday, precipitation increases across the Kenai
Peninsula as a weak surface low moves to the western Gulf south of
the Kenai Peninsula. Also, chances of showers are expected
inland. Weak gap winds are expected across Turnagain Arm and Portage
Valley through Sunday. A weak Matanuska wind develops Sunday evening.

&&

.SHORT TERM FORECAST SOUTHWEST ALASKA (Days 1 through 3: Today
through Monday)...

Partly to mostly sunny skies are expected through this afternoon
under a weak ridge. Clouds will increase this evening, with
showers developing along coastal areas and flurries or light snow
developing over interior areas by early Sunday morning ahead of a
weakening cold front. Any snow accumulation will be minimal.
Partial clearing is possible Sunday afternoon behind the front.
Mostly cloudy skies will return Monday with possible onshore
showers or flurries as a low stalls near the Pribilofs.

&&

.SHORT TERM FORECAST BERING SEA/ALEUTIANS (Days 1 through 3:
Today through Monday)...

A stalled upper level low in the Bering will continue to bring
persistent showers to the Aleutians and Pribilofs as its
associated surface lows rotate around it. The heaviest of these
are expected east of and including Unalaska on Sunday as a
relatively stronger meso-low tracks over that area.

&&

.MARINE (Days 3 through 5)...

Beginning the extended marine weather forecast Sunday afternoon,
there will be a broad low pressure centered over the central
Bering Sea with a region of enhanced (25-30 knot) northerly winds
on the backside of the low over the western Bering Sea. There is
high confidence a second low will move into the eastern Bering and
Bristol Bay on Sun night and Mon, bringing with it 20-30 knot
winds and seas 5-9 feet as it stalls in the vicinity of the
Pribilof Islands. There will be quieter winds and seas over the
Gulf of Alaska Sun and Mon as weakening fronts move into the Gulf,
but stronger storms stay well to the south.

Attention quickly turns to a potentially rapidly developing low
late Tue night and Wednesday. There is much higher uncertainty and
lower confidence with the track and strength of this low, with
the GFS favoring a much stronger and powerful westward track of
this low through Bristol Bay, potentially as strong as 960 mb with
storm force winds and high seas through Wednesday. The ECMWF and
Canadian are much weaker and favor a track into the Gulf of Alaska
and Kodiak, with much lower winds and seas over the Bering Sea.
For now a middle ground forecast was favored with a gale force low
projected to track over the AKPEN and Kodiak, but not as far west
as the very strong GFS and not as weak and far east as the weak
Canadian solution which favors the far northeast Gulf of Alaska.
Mariners should beware of this potential storm, with another
couple days of some uncertainty as this low develops.

&&

.LONG TERM FORECAST (Days 3 through 7; Monday through
Friday)...

Beginning the extended forecast on Sunday evening, there will be a
large trough over the Bering Sea, and weak upper ridging over
Southcentral and the ALCAN, stretching west across the Alaska
Range. As the state moves into the early part of next week, weak
embedded waves rotating around the trough will push moisture into
Southwest Alaska, increasing rain and snow threats through
Tuesday. However, Southcentral will likely remain drier as the
precipitation remains mainly along the coast.

Attention then turns to a potentially rapidly developing low in
the north Pacific Tuesday and Tuesday night which may bring the
next chance for significant weather for southern Alaska.
Numerical models indicate significant strengthening is possible with
this low potentially approaching 960 mb Wednesday morning
(potential storm force winds) as it moves into the waters of
Southern Alaska. However, model uncertainty is rather high with
this storm with some models showing a track over Bristol Bay with
others favoring an eastward track across the North Gulf. These
track differences result in a lot of uncertainty regarding
sensible weather across Southern mainland, with some solutions
(the ECMWF, specifically) favoring a potential snow event for
parts of Southcentral while the GFS favors a significant wind and
warm-rain event.Either way, expect the possibility of strong
winds and high seas in the coastal waters as well as the potential for
heavy coastal precipitation. In addition, expect the possibility
of gusty northwest gap winds along the Alaska Peninsula to last
through Friday. Another low moves into the western Bering Friday
morning into Friday evening as the storm track shifts west.

&&


.AFC WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
PUBLIC...Flood Watch 121.
MARINE...NONE.
FIRE WEATHER...NONE.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS AND MODEL DISCUSSION...KO
SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA...RMC
SOUTHWEST ALASKA/BERING SEA/ALEUTIANS...AP
MARINE/LONG TERM...LB/JA



405
FXAK69 PAFG 191118
AFDAFG

Northern Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks AK
318 AM AKDT Sat Oct 19 2019

.DISCUSSION...

The main impacts across northern Alaska will continue to be the
strong easterly winds along the eastern Arctic coast. High
pressure across the Beaufort Sea and Arctic and the leeside trough
over the Brooks Range will persist into Sunday. The tight pressure
gradient between these features has been the driving force for
the strong winds along the eastern Arctic coast. The strong winds
will begin to diminish this evening to the west of Prudhoe Bay and
on Sunday to the East of Prudhoe Bay as the leeside trough starts
to break down. Generally quiet weather elsewhere with a few snow
showers across the eastern Brooks Range and the Fortymile Country,
and perhaps a few along parts of the West Coast.

Aloft...at 500 hPa...models continue to be in good agreement with
a 541 dam blocking high pressure center currently over the
Beaufort Sea, that will drift very slowly eastward to the eastern
Beaufort Sea by Sunday. Broad low pressure over the Bering Sea
will persist in place through the weekend, with multiple weak
shortwaves moving across the West Coast as the low rotates
generally in place. Weak upper level ridging will persist over the
Interior through the weekend. Sunday afternoon and Monday, weak
low pressure will develop over the North Slope, with current model
runs indicating this feature will strengthen and move north over
the Beaufort Sea around the middle of next week.

Surface...A broad area of high pressure across the Beaufort Sea
and Arctic will drift slowly east through the weekend. A surface
trough extends from roughly Demarcation Point southwest into the
eastern Brooks Range, with weak troughing over the Interior. A 988
mb low over the Bering Sea will gradually weaken in place through
Sunday. A shortwave trough will rotate around this low, impacting
the YK Delta on Sunday.

North Slope and Brooks Range: A tight surface pressure gradient
between high pressure in the Beaufort and Arctic and a low
pressure trough in the eastern Brooks Range will bring continued
strong easterly winds to the eastern Arctic coast and the near
shore waters through Sunday. The strongest winds will continue
through late this evening with gusts to 55 mph possible,
especially from Prudhoe Bay to Barter Island. Strong wind
headlines remain in place for Zones 202, 203, and 204 (from just
west of Utqiagvik east to Demarcation Point) through this evening
for areas west of Prudhoe Bay and the Strong Wind Headlines remain
in effect for the Bartar Island area through Sunday morning. As
the high pressure drifts east and the trough weakens, winds will
begin to diminish significantly this evening to the west of
Prudhoe Bay. Winds will continue to decrease on Sunday especially
to the east of Prudhoe Bay.

West Coast and Western Interior: A couple of weak troughs
extending from an area of low pressure over the central Bering Sea
will bring periods of snow flurries and snow showers to the West
Coast today. A front rotating around the low will approach the
lower YK Delta on Sunday with only minor snowfall accumulations
expected.

Central and Eastern Interior: Weak high pressure will continue
through early next week with occasional weak disturbances moving
through the area with mostly cloudy skies and occasional snow
flurries. Across the far southeast Interior, a low pressure
trough extending approximately from Eagle to Tok and into the
Alaska Range will bring snow showers to the area today and will
move north into the Eastern Brooks Range on Sunday. Along the
summits east of the Dalton Highway, snow showers are expected in
association with the leeside trough through the eastern Brooks
Range and into central and southern Interior with the Dalton
Highway seeing a couple of inches of accumulating snow through
Sunday. By mid- week, winds are expected to increase especially
over highway summits as model guidance continues to show a
tightening pressure gradient in response to a strong low pressure
system moving into Bristol Bay. Gusty gap winds are expected to
develop along the Alaska Range as strong winds aloft produce a
strong lee side trough along the northern foothills of the Alaska
Range.

Coastal Hazard Potential Days 3 and 4...Long term models continue
to indicate increasing north to northeasterly winds through the
Bering Strait during the middle of next week. If this develops,
there may be some elevated surf along the Diomede and Shishmaref
coastlines.

&&

.AFG WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Small Craft Advisory for PKZ235-PKZ240-PKZ245.
&&

$$

CCC OCT 19



421
FXAK67 PAJK 191231
AFDAJK

Southeast Alaska Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Juneau AK
431 AM AKDT Sat Oct 19 2019

.SHORT TERM.../Through Sunday night/ Upper trof over the gulf
will drift onshore this afternoon, then lift N across the area
tonight. A shortwave trof will move E across the far southern gulf
tonight into Sun morning, then head inland across BC Sun afternoon
and evening. At the sfc, a weakening low will drift WSW across the
gulf through tonight. another low will move E across the far
southern gulf tonight and Sun, then weaken to a trof and lift NE across
the far SE gulf Sun night. Models were still struggling a bit
with this system though, so we used a middle ground compromise on
it by blending the 06z NAM and NAMnest.

As upper trof moves onshore, a more organized band of showers will
move with it along the associated sfc trof today. This band will
weaken tonight into Sun morning as offshore low level flow
increases ahead of the low moving across the southern gulf. Expect
some steadier precip to reach the far southern area late tonight,
then hang up there and gradually decrease Sun afternoon. However,
as low weakens to a trof and lifts NE Sun night, precip threat
across the far S should increase again. Meanwhile, the precip
threat across the N will decrease Sun with offshore flow
increasing, and there may be significant breaks in the clouds by
afternoon across the far N. One aspect of the forecast that later
shifts may need to monitor is potential for fog tonight in some
areas. This will depend on how quickly the clouds break later
tonight into Sun morning.

.LONG TERM.../Monday through Saturday as of 10 pm Friday/ Minimal
impactful wx expected early next week as highly zonal flow across
the gulf maintains active wx pattern across the panhandle. A
weakening crossing Dixon Entrance will exit the region with deep
onshore flow maintaining precip chances across the region. By mid
week more impactful weather is expected to develop across the
region as a long wave trough moves towards the W gulf. This
pattern is favorable for heavy precip across SE AK. Operational
guidance continues to show run to run discrepancies with ensemble
means more stable but wash out stronger features. The biggest
challenge with eventual migration of this pattern is the potential
phasing with northern stream. Given the uncertainty, maintained
forecast with gales expected over the gulf as the first in a
series of fronts impacts the region. This wet pattern for the
latter half of next week will see widespread precip likely heavy
at times for portions of the panhandle. Temps will remain near to
slightly above normal so not anticipating precip type issues.
Overall forecast confidence in synoptic pattern remains about
average.

&&

.AJK Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
PUBLIC...None.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory for PKZ022-041>043-051>053.

&&

$$

RWT/BC

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