Sunday, November 30, 2014

Winter Storm Warning

The Fairbanks area was recently placed under a Winter Storm Warning. For Alaska Zone 222, the Fairbanks Zone, this means 8 or more inches are forecasted for a 24 hour period. The current forecast calls for 6" to 12" with the larger amounts in the hills. This post from earlier in the year maps the criteria for winter weather products. Since 2006, a total of 9 Winter Storm Watches and 17 Winter Storm Warnings  have been issued for Zone 222.

The latest run of the GFS model is calling for 7.3" of snow between 9 p.m. Monday (12/1) and midnight Tuesday (27 hours). This is the model output for the airport. Again, the forecast is calling for higher amounts in the hills.

How frequent are 6" storms in Alaska? Figure 1 shows the climatology of calendar totals of 6" or more. Fairbanks is right at the 1.0 occurrences per year line. In fact, there have been 93 instances of 6" or more of snow since 1915.

Figure 1. Alaska climatology of 6" snowfalls in a calendar day.

1 comment:

  1. Brian, good information. I have a personal interest/preference for looking at 2-day snow totals so that events spanning the calendar day boundary are not excluded. By this measure, Fairbanks gets very close to 2.0 occurrences per year.