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Northern Alaska forecast discussion
National Weather Service Fairbanks Alaska
558 am akdt Tue Aug 14 2018

Discussion...
the models are in overall good agreement in the short term. Our
main forecast challenges for this shift is the continued rainfall
today across the interior, as well as high surf along the Chukchi
Sea coast on Wednesday.

Aloft, at 500 mb, a broad trough stretches from northeast to
southwest across the area with a 547 dam low situated in the
central Bering Sea. The trough will persist through much of the
week, but will be move to the east as the low moves into the the
Gulf of Alaska.

Central and eastern interior: a stalled front, combined with
moisture associated with the remnants of a tropical storm will
bring rainfall to much of the interior today into tonight. Most
areas of the interior will see 0.25 to 0.75 inches of rainfall
through early Wednesday with localized areas receiving in excess
of one inch of rainfall. The upper Tanana Valley will see less
rainfall today thanks to some weak downsloping; however rainfall
is expected to fill in there tonight. Showers will decrease in
coverage and intensity during the day on Wednesday. Due to the
rainfall today, most locations in the interior will see highs in
the 50s, although the upper Tanana Valley will make it up into the
lower 60s. Below normal temperatures are expected to continue
across the interior into midweek.

North Slope and Brooks range: scattered snow showers are possible
today, mainly to the east of Point Barrow. An area of low
pressure will dive south through the Arctic Ocean Tuesday night
into Wednesday. As the low approaches, strong westerly winds (with
gusts as high as 45 mph) are expected to develop along the Chukchi
Sea coast bringing elevated water levels. Current guidance
suggests that significant coastal flooding shouldn't be an issue
with this system; however, high surf is likely. Given this, we
opted to issue high surf advisories along the Chukchi Sea coast
(zones 201 and 202). Late Wednesday, as the low starts to track
east, winds along the Beaufort Sea coast near Barter Island may
approach High Wind Warning criteria. We will need to continue to
monitor this area as well. A front associated with the low will
bring precipitation as it moves across the North Slope on
Wednesday. Warmer air aloft is moving in with this system,
therefore we are expecting most of the precipitation associated
with this front to fall as rain. The models are hinting at another
low moving across the Arctic coast Friday afternoon into early
Saturday. This system has the potential to bring similar wind
speeds as the first; however, right now the models disagree on the
strength and placement of this low.

West Coast and western interior: gusty winds will persist in
northern Bering Sea this morning. I opted to extend the ongoing
high surf advisory for zone 213 for an additional few hours this
morning. Showers will persist today along a stalled front, mainly
along and south of the Yukon river. Another front will push south
along the Chukchi Sea coast Wednesday bringing some additional
showers.

Coastal hazard potential days 3 and 4...none, but see North Slope
section above for issues in the shorter term. &&

Fire weather...
no issues anticipated. Wetting rainfall is expected today into
tonight across a wide swath of the interior. Minimum relative
humidity values are expected to remain above 40 percent for the
entire forecast area today. Minimum relative humidity values will remain above 40
percent across most of the area for Wednesday and Thursday as well
(with the main exception being the upper Tanana Valley, which will
drop into the mid 30 percent range).

&&

Hydrology...
rises are expected on interior rivers over the next few days due
to recent rainfall. Current thinking is that rivers will remain
below action stage.

&&

Afg watches/warnings/advisories...
high surf advisory for akz201-akz202-akz213.

Small Craft Advisory for pkz215-pkz220.

Gale Warning for pkz210.

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