Objective Comments and Analysis - All Science, No Politics
Contributions by Richard James and Rick Thoman
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Cold Persists near the Alaska Range
Unlike the Fairbanks area, clear skies have prevailed near the Alaska Range for past 36 hour. Here's the 1pm photo from Denali National Park right near the train station. The lack of clouds have allowed the cold temperatures to persist. At the Denali Park AWOS (partially visible in the photo just beyond the brown building), the high today was 20 below and low 36 below. At the DVCA2 RAWS, which is near the Wilderness Access Center and at a slightly lower in elevation than the AWOS, the high was -27F and the low -38F.
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Why do the weather forecasters always predict colder temperatures than what we're actually getting. This week is not as cold as what was forecasted.ReplyDelete
The forecasts the past few days have been very tricky because of the clouds. Notice in my post
how the skies clear out for just a few hours and the temperatures (in valleys) drops like a rock. And indeed, where it has been clear, like near the Alaska range and now in the Delta Junction area, temperatures are indeed in the 20s and 30s below.
The other piece of info here is that in these situations, the computer guidance is terrible. The models have a difficult time with both the thin layer of lower cloud and temperatures near the ground. So the forecaster has to decide on the appropriate mixed between clouds breaking and clouds remaining. Obviously, the choices made have not worked out so well most of the time for the Fairbanks area in the past few days.