Tropical Tidbits from the Tundra

Christmas Eve storm

By: Levi32, 4:25 PM GMT on December 24, 2007

The storm I talked about yesterday has pulled up east of Kodiak Island this morning deepening rapidly in the 970s. This low is throwing snow northward and will envelope the southern Kenai Peninsula in the next couple hours. Again cold air remains entrenched, and the warm air from the low is getting forced to move above the cold air. As the air is forced up it condenses into clouds and we get what is called overrunning snow, because the warm air overruns the cold air at the surface. A snow advisory has been issued for Kachemak Bay, specifically the Homer Bluff(my house again:). 3-8 inches expected today, but a lot depends on the track of the low, which is unusually uncertain this morning. The models are jumping all over the place with the track of this thing, and any minor change could shift the axis of heaviest snow and the snow amounts themselves dramatically. Bottom line though a lot of areas will get more Christmas snow with this system as it drifts northeast through Prince William Sound this evening. Tomorrow for Christmas Day we have an interesting setup of a trough moving through with strong cold advection from the west, which could set up some more snow for the western Kenai Peninsula. Again this is our lake-effect deal, and it can be very potent under right conditions. Merry Christmas Eve!

We shall see what happens!

AKZ121-250500-
/X.EXT.PAFC.SN.Y.0026.071224T1653Z-071225T0600Z/
WESTERN KENAI PENINSULA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...KENAI...SOLDOTNA...HOMER...
COOPER LANDING
753 AM AST MON DEC 24 2007

...SNOW ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM AST THIS EVENING...

THE SNOW ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM AST THIS EVENING.

A STRONG AREA OF LOW PRESSURE JUST SOUTH AND EAST OF KODIAK
ISLAND WILL SEND SNOW NORTH INTO THE KENAI PENINSULA BY LATE THIS
MORNING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IN THE WESTERN KENAI WILL BE AROUND
KACHEMAK BAY...WITH 4 TO 10 INCHES OF ACCUMULATION EXPECTED LATE
THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS EVENING. THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS WILL BE
AROUND SELDOVIA AND ON THE HOMER BLUFF. NORTHEAST WINDS OF 15 TO
30 MPH ARE EXPECTED TO ACCOMPANY THE SNOW...POSSIBLY LEADING TO
AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW.

A SNOW ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY
TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND
LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ121
-----------------







^Click for loop^






Webcam overlooking Homer and Kachemak Bay:


Webcam mounted on Peterson Bay weather station looking across toward Homer:

Updated: 5:09 PM GMT on December 24, 2007

Permalink

Christmas Snow

By: Levi32, 5:23 PM GMT on December 23, 2007

**UPDATE 9:30 am**

NWS has issued a winter weather advisory for Anchor Point southward. Gusty winds to 40mph and moderate snowfall will reduce visibilities to near zero this morning continuing into this afternoon. Snow accumulation of 4-8 inches possible through early afternoon. This is probably a result of the strong cold air advection from the west. Temperatures are dropping fast, and this produces our type of lake-effect snow, which when in the right conditions can bury us in feet upon feet of snow, but I doubt this is one of those times.

AKZ121-240100-
/X.NEW.PAFC.WW.Y.0002.071223T1831Z-071224T0100Z/
WESTERN KENAI PENINSULA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...KENAI...SOLDOTNA...HOMER...
COOPER LANDING
931 AM AST SUN DEC 23 2007

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM AST THIS
AFTERNOON FOR ANCHOR POINT SOUTH...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ANCHORAGE HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM AST THIS
AFTERNOON.

MODERATE SNOW CONTINUES TO FALL FROM ANCHOR POINT AND SOUTH. SNOW COMBINED
WITH GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH ARE PRODUCING LOCAL
VISIBILITIES TO ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS. SNOW WILL CONTINUE
THROUGH THIS MORNING AND SLOWLY TAPER OFF THIS AFTERNOON.
ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
IMMINENT OR HIGHLY LIKELY. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND
LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE TRAVELING.

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ121
-----------------


Previous entry:
Another large low has moved into the eastern gulf spreading snow across southcentral. Normally the west side wouldn't reach us, but all this cold air is bolstering the west side allowing overrunning warm air to create snow. Homer is getting the worst of it this morning, with 3-6 inches forecasted today. Tonight will see a small break with scattered snow and a couple more inches as the low moves off to the southeast. On Christmas Eve a new storm currently south of the Aleutian Islands will move just east of Kodiak up near Seward strengthening as it goes. This is another classic storm track for heavy snow, although the NWS is only calling for 2-4 inches at this time. Cold air remains entrenched fairly well over the interior of the state, and as long as the jetstream carries these storms east of our longitude before coming north, we're going to see lots of snow :). Merry Christmas to all! Enjoy it if it's white, and if it's not, enjoy it anyway for what it is!

We shall see what happens!







^Click for loop^






Webcam overlooking Homer and Kachemak Bay:


Webcam mounted on Peterson Bay weather station looking across toward Homer:

Updated: 6:47 PM GMT on December 23, 2007

Permalink

Major Christmas storm on the way - Watches issued

By: Levi32, 7:07 PM GMT on December 20, 2007

After a week of poor handling by the models, we were all a little surprised at this next low coming north into the Gulf of Alaska. This low is already in the middle of the satellite image you can see below, and the cirrus shield is extending over southern Alaska. This low will be running into an exceptionally cold dome of air that has been sitting over most of Alaska for a week now. Temperatures in the interior have been pushing -50 the last few mornings, and Fairbanks is currently at -44. This clash of cold and warm will cause significant snowfall on the coastal areas, with some rain-shadow affect inland, limiting totals there. This low is a triple-point spawned by the parent low north of the Aleutians. The parent is already causing convergence between warm and cold air over Bristol Bay and the Kenai Peninsula, causing flurries and light snow. Even as the cirrus shield comes over from the triple-point, it is already snowing at my house lightly, and it's still only 7 degrees. This tells me that the dynamics are very much in place for this battle of warm and cold air to produce significant snow. The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch from 4pm local time this afternoon through tomorrow, and will likely get upgraded to a warning within a few hours. They are currently calling for a storm total of up to 20 inches, highest amounts along the Homer Bluff(where I live), and in Seldovia, across the bay from me. Our wishes of a white Christmas may finally be coming true! Inland areas of the Kenai Peninsula will not see as much snow due to downsloping, but most areas will still get advisory-level amounts when it's all said and done. That's it! Hope for the best, I know we all want snow. Good luck to all! Enjoy the storm :) I'll update again later.

We shall see what happens!

1036 AM AST THU DEC 20 2007

...HEAVY SNOW WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 12 PM
AST FRIDAY FOR ALONG KACHEMAK BAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ANCHORAGE HAS ISSUED A HEAVY SNOW
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 12 PM
AST FRIDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

A NEARLY STATIONARY TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE ALONG COOK INLET AND
COLD TEMPERATURES WILL BRING HEAVY SNOW FOR LOCATIONS ALONG
KACHEMAK BAY. STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 14 INCHES CAN BE
EXPECTED ALONG KACHEMAK BAY FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY
MORNING. GREATEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED NEAR SELDOVIA AND THE HOMER
BLUFF.


A HEAVY SNOW WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST
THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF
YOU MUST...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR
VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ121
Current NWS Forecast:

AKZ121-210100-
WESTERN KENAI PENINSULA-
INCLUDING...KENAI...SOLDOTNA...HOMER...COOPER LANDING
945 AM AST THU DEC 20 2007

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM AST THIS AFTERNOON
THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON AROUND KACHEMAK BAY...

.TODAY...SNOW SPREADING NORTH THROUGH THIS MORNING. SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES...HIGHEST AMOUNTS OVER KACHEMAK BAY.
HIGHS ZERO TO TO 10 ABOVE EXCEPT IN THE TEENS TO LOWER 20S SOUTH OF
CLAM GULCH. NORTHEAST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.

.TONIGHT...SNOW SOUTH OF CLAM GULCH...HEAVY AT TIMES. POSSIBLE SNOW
ACCUMULATION UP TO 12 INCHES...HIGHEST AMOUNTS AROUND KACHEMAK BAY.
ELSEWHERE...CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW. NEAR STEADY TEMPERATURES
ZERO TO 10 ABOVE EXCEPT IN THE TEENS TO LOWER 20S SOUTH OF CLAM
GULCH. NORTHEAST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.

.FRIDAY...SNOW SOUTH OF CLAM GULCH DIMINISHING IN THE AFTERNOON.
POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 8 INCHES...HIGHEST
AMOUNTS AROUND KACHEMAK BAY. ELSEWHERE...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A
CHANCE OF SNOW. HIGHS IN THE TEENS EXCEPT IN THE 20S SOUTH OF
CLAM GULCH. NORTH WIND 10 TO 15 MPH IN THE MORNING BECOMING LIGHT.







^Click for loop^






Webcam overlooking Homer and Kachemak Bay:


Webcam mounted on Peterson Bay weather station looking across toward Homer:

Updated: 7:48 PM GMT on December 20, 2007

Permalink

Another snow hopeful about to pounce

By: Levi32, 2:52 AM GMT on December 09, 2007

**Update Monday morning:**

The low is moving ashore on the southern Kenai Peninsula, and the mountains haven't stopped any of the moisture from making it over to the Homer area and Sterling Highway. At sea level temps are 35-38 with rain. Higher elevations, such as my house, currently at 32.1 degrees, are seeing wet snow accumulating up to 3 inches already. Right now is the warmest part of the storm, so the areas seeing snow right now could see nothing but snow for the rest of the day, possibly accumulating quite nicely by tomorrow morning. At sea level rain will continue, mixing with snow by late this afternoon. Overnight tonight cold air will filter in from the west changing most precip to snow before the storm is completely gone. I don't expect more than 2 inches of snow at sea level before the storm moves out. All-around a nice little nasty storm with a mix of precip and 35mph winds to toss it around. I'll keep you posted as the storm unfolds. Previous entry is below, as the pattern reasoning still applies:

Post from Saturday:
Well no matter how many supposed snowstorms come in lately, every one turns to rain by only 1 or 2 degrees above freezing. Very annoying lol. The pattern reversal has turned into not a reversal, but just a different way of expressing a warm pattern. The opportunities for arctic air intrusion have increased dramatically with this pattern, but there's still enough warm air in the mix to shake off most snowstorms, at least for the moment. Here's another repeat, but with more hope. Come Monday a brand new storm system churning with life is going to make a pass between Kodiak Island and the Kenai Peninsula, coming from the SE. Now in the dead of winter this is a boom boom snow scenario, but lately there have been doubts about even the most obvious snow setups. The current system is moving out, and rain is changing to snow at the last minute as cold air rushes in behind the occluded front. During the next two days a new storm will develop in the eastern Pacific and head NNW. This system has lively jet support, and will strengthen quickly. Some models are bringing this down to 969mb right as it passes north of Kodiak Island. Up until this point the storm will be carrying a nice warm tongue with it, but this will slip east as soon as the center reaches Kodiak Island. This gives the arctic air tentatively sitting to the north and west an opportunity to bust some but and keep the temps below freezing for most of south central. This is by far our best hope out of the last 5 or so systems. Regardless of whether this storm brings rain or snow, it will be the strongest we've seen in this position in a long time, and the only one that has strengthened upon landfall this winter. The exact track will determine what areas will get the most snow, and that should be ironed out more in tomorrow's model runs. I'll keep you posted.

We shall see what happens!










^Click for loop^


Webcam overlooking Homer and Kachemak Bay:


Webcam mounted on Peterson Bay weather station looking across toward Homer:

Updated: 6:57 PM GMT on December 10, 2007

Permalink

Snowstorm moving in

By: Levi32, 3:22 PM GMT on December 04, 2007

A snow advisory has been issued until 6pm local time today for the Kenai Peninsula. As I predicted earlier last week, a small surface low has formed under the upper trough positioned over the north Pacific, and is moving just west of Cook Inlet. With this storm comes a tiny pocket of warm air that is running straight into the mass of Canadian polar air in the interior of the state. The pattern change I talked about a few days ago is half-way complete, and arctic air has already replaced the big ridge. This storm, as small as it is, comes with an extraordinary amount of lift, hence the snow warnings. What concerns me is just how much lift is evident in my back yard. I live at 1034 feet above sea level, and most of Homer slopes from 100 feet eventually to the beach(0 feet). The temperature in town right now is 29 degrees, but at my house it is only 14. That's a 15 degree change in less than 1000 feet. I very rarely have ever seen temperature differences this large, and this is showing that we have a lot of cold air over a lot of warm air/water at the surface. This means very unstable conditions, and a lot of snow could fall in 12 hours over the area.

After this low moves through, a big storm out in the Aleutians will bring warm air and rain/snow into the area on Thursday, followed by several more from the same general area. The pattern is still being worked out by the models and run to run consistency in the medium/long term is very bad right now. Based on what I can tell from how the pattern in the lower 48 is developing, it looks like a trough over the Gulf of Alaska with systems coming across from the Aleutian Islands and into the gulf is the most likely pattern setting up here. This would mean possibly more cold and snow for southcentral, which would fit with the current La Nina pattern.

We shall see what happens!










^Click for loop^


Webcam overlooking Homer and Kachemak Bay:

Updated: 4:42 PM GMT on December 04, 2007

Permalink

About Levi32

Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.

Local Weather

Overcast
64 °F
Overcast

Levi32's Recent Photos

Hurricane Mitch

Recommended Links

Personal Weather Stations

MesoWest NERRS METEOROLOGICAL SITE AT KAC AK US
Fritz Creek, AK
Elevation: 32 ft
Temperature: 58.0 °F
Dew Point: 50.0 °F
Humidity: 76%
Wind: 5.0 mph from the WNW
Wind Gust: 8.0 mph
Updated: 9:30 PM AKDT on July 22, 2014
Overlooking Peterson Bay
Homer, AK
Elevation: 27 ft
Temperature: 56.7 °F
Dew Point: 45.9 °F
Humidity: 67%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 2.0 mph
Updated: 9:38 PM AKDT on July 22, 2014
RAWS HOMER AK US
Homer, AK
Elevation: 854 ft
Temperature: 56.0 °F
Dew Point: 52.0 °F
Humidity: 87%
Wind: 3.0 mph from the WNW
Wind Gust: 6.0 mph
Updated: 8:54 PM AKDT on July 22, 2014

About Personal Weather Stations