Friday, December 2, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

Another big storm is on the way for northern Alaska. Here are forecasts from the GFS for 3am and 3pm AST Sunday. What does this mean for Fairbanks-land?

First, Saturday night into Sunday morning, big chinook. It is very likely that it will get significantly above freezing throughout the area. Then, about as strong a cold front as ever is seen in Interior Alaska comes blasting through late Sunday afternoon or evening. Here's the forecast for the 850mb temperatures (about 4500' MSL, a decent guide to the temperature of the low level airmass).

Yes, that's plotted correctly: the model is forecasting an almost 9C fall between 3pm and 6pm Sunday. There will be snow and lots of southwest wind as the cold air returns. Above tree-line on the highways north of Fairbanks it's really going to howl. The southwest winds will break through in town too; I would not be surprised to see Fairbanks Airport report blowing snow at some point Sunday night/Monday morning.


  1. Why is there always a warm Chinnok period at the beginning of each month, then followed by a deep cold wave. I'm noticing the trend by studying the weather archive.

  2. lol…it does not always work that way, but it does seem sometimes like "change the calender, change the wx pattern"!