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Northern Alaska forecast discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks Alaska
616 am akst Fri Feb 24 2017

Discussion...
another active weather day today as the second winter storm
continues to pile up snow over northern Alaska and the third and
strongest storm takes aim at the West Coast, western and central
interior as well as the Brooks range for Saturday and Sunday.

Models...the 00z model suite initialized well against the 00z
surface analysis and verified well against the 06z surface
analysis. Despite a very progressive pattern with multiple
shortwaves zipping along through the longwave pattern there is
remarkable agreement both between model families and from run to
run through middle of next week.

Aloft at 500 hpa a short shortwave located over western Alaska
continues to plow into the ridge over eastern Alaska and flatten
the ridge. The shortwave continues to flatten the upper level
ridge today and tomorrow which sets up a deep layer west to west
southwest flow over much of northern Alaska for Saturday and
Sunday. Strong and moist deep layer southwest flow continues over
much of northern Alaska as the second snow storm moves with a
surface reflection 1003 mb low along the northwest coast will
continue to weaken and move to the northeast as the associated
front stretches over the central interior continue to push to the
east today.

Snow will diminish over the central and eastern interior today as
the favorable upper level dynamics push north and east into
Canada however moist southwest upslope flow from the surface to
around 500 hpa will continue snowfall over the southern faces of
the Brooks range. As better upper level dynamics move back over
the area Saturday and Sunday with storm number three, expect snow
to increase over all of the interior and to be enhanced in areas
favorable for west to southwest upslope flow. Opted to leave
ongoing winter storm warnings going in these favored upslope areas
through Sunday as these areas will continue to receive
significant snow between storm two and three today and tonight.

On the surface a 1003 mb low over the western North Slope weakens
to around 1010 mb as it moves east to near Prudhoe Bay this
evening. Ongoing snow over much of the western, central and
eastern interior will diminish today as upper level support moves
east however upslope locations along the southern faces of the
Brooks range, the southern Seward Peninsula and the northern
Nulato Hills will continue to receive snowfall.

Focus turns to storm number three. Winter storm watches have been
issued and ongoing winter storm warnings extended for the Seward
Peninsula, eastern Norton Sound, the western and central interior
with 6 to 12 inches of snow expected Saturday and Sunday. The
heaviest snow will fall over the higher terrain and summits in
the interior and along the southwest facing slope of the Brooks
range. A cold air mass behind the front that sweeps through the
interior Sunday will not only usher in much colder temperatures
for next week but will also create gusty winds especially on
higher terrain in the interior. Travel over Highway summits in the
interior will likely be very difficult with considerable blowing
and drifting snow Saturday and Sunday.

&&

Afg watches/warnings/advisories...
Winter Weather Advisory for akz202-akz203-akz214-akz215-akz218-
akz220-akz222.

Winter Storm Warning for akz208-akz211-akz212-akz213-akz217-
akz219.

Winter Storm Watch for akz207-akz209-akz210-akz216-akz218-akz220-
akz221-akz222.

Gale Warning for pkz210-pkz230.

Brisk Wind Advisory for pkz200-pkz215-pkz220-pkz235-pkz240-
pkz245.
&&

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