Thursday, December 6, 2012

End of Cold, Start of Snow

I usually try to avoid talking about short term weather forecasts here (too much like work),  but occasionally sometimes it seems worthwhile.

Courtesy of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
So, the end of the cold snap is in sight. The numerical models came into line on Tuesday with a pattern change, with the cold air that's been entrenched for six weeks being first overrun and then rooted out by increasing southwest flow aloft. To the left is this morning's ECMWF forecast of 500mb heights and 850mb temperatures valid next Wednesday morning (I've added an * to roughly locate Fairbanks).

This is a completely classic upper air pattern for heavy snow in Fairbanks-land: ridge in the Gulf of Alaska with deep west southwest mid-atmospheric flow into the Interior. Temperatures would be something like 0 to 20F above with this kind of pattern.

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