Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.
By: Levi32, 6:44 PM GMT on November 26, 2006
Byebye bitter cold! It is now time for some change whoopie! Lol.
This morning a major front hit the west coast of Alaska and is slowly making its way toward the southcentral area. The warm air being pumped northwards has forced the cold dome to retreat slightly north and east. Just to the north of us it is still quite cold, but here it is warming into the mid-twenties and to the west temps are in the 30s. In a normal world this big front would be a guaranteed rain event due to the warm air being pumped northwards. However cold air has set itself so firmly over the state that the warm air is not able to penetrate far enough to turn snow to rain. Therefore this will be a major snow event for Bristol Bay and western Alaska with 10-20 inches of snow expected. For us here in southcentral it is a different story. For one thing the NWS is only forecasting 5-9 inches storm total over the next 36 hours because as the front moves east and the parent low moves west the front will be weakening as it moves over us. In fact it will stall and eventually dissipate over top of us. However there are 2 small things to consider before saying we will only get 5-9 inches of snow. One, there is a small wave developing along the front which the low-resolution models (GFS) are not picking up. The high-resolution models (NAM, WRF) are picking this feature up, and such a feature could enhance precipitation in our area depending on its speed. The second thing to consider is a low forecasted by the models to develop on the tail-end of the front late Monday. This low will come NNW towards Kodiak Island on Tuesday. After this the NAM and GFS diverge on the track significantly. The GFS brings it close enough to us to give us some snow, and then slides it off east as it strengthens. But the NAM confidently brings it right up NW of Kodiak and sandblasts us with snow, depending on how much the mountains block.These two things could inflate storm totals here in southcentral Alaska.
This is not the last storm in line either. We are now in a pattern change, and although the cold dome will continue to try to force its way southward into our area again, lows from the west will begin pounding in and forcing the cold off to the east. In 5 days another low which will be a border-line rain/snow event will come up west of the Alaskan coast and bring more precipitation to the area. After that there is very low confidence and consistency between models, so everything is pretty much up in the air.
I'll try to keep you posted! Meanwhile I'm just glad it's not below zero at my house anymore lol. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
We shall see what happens!
Updated: 6:52 PM GMT on November 26, 2006
By: Levi32, 4:29 PM GMT on November 22, 2006
Mercy! Just look at these temps!
I live in Homer, on the southern part of the Kenai Peninsula, where my house touches zero degrees every night. But look at the temps near the Alaska/Canada border! Looks like -40 temps over a good portion up there. This dome of arctic cold should last through this weekend, and then the models start to indicate some change. For the first time in nearly 3 weeks, the NWS forecast has the snow icon in it again. Calling for chance of snow Saturday through Tuesday of next week. The evolution of this pattern will be crucial as to whether we get a snowy pattern, or warm and rainy one. In any case, the first big storm we get will be a snowstorm, simply because it will take more than one storm to erode this incredibly huge dome of bone-chilled air.
As a side note, check out the graphics our local tv station is putting out. These are the first "tv-graphics" that Alaska has ever had, so I'm quite happy. The temperature maps above are also from that site. Be wary of the radar loops though, as they are extremely long for some reason. The images load as fast as NWS, but there are so many of them that the download is over 5 MBs per loop. However it is a great loop, and you can get several different views on the drop-down menus. Hope you enjoy!
We shall see what happens!
Happy Thanksgiving to everybody!
Updated: 4:30 PM GMT on November 22, 2006
By: Levi32, 4:07 AM GMT on November 15, 2006
*Sigh*, life is so hard sometimes. Here we go.....all over and around the hornets nest a second time.
Weather in Alaska: BORING. Sunny and cold with temps below zero is all I can say, and I don't feel like saying much anyway.
By: Levi32, 3:28 PM GMT on November 13, 2006
Nooooooooo!!!! Not again! I can't take it AGAIN!!! Confound it all! :'(
Updated: 3:29 PM GMT on November 13, 2006
By: Levi32, 10:53 PM GMT on November 08, 2006
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Well, we got the snow I forecasted, a whole whopping 4/10 of an inch lol. Since then it has rained exactly twice, and then the temperature took a dive and we've had lows near 10 and highs only breaking 20 for more than a week now. This cold dry pattern is expected to last for at least another week and maybe two before breaking. So, the weather here is boring, with the exception of a once in a while snow shower from the cold air over the inlet.
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Updated: 10:54 PM GMT on November 08, 2006