Marine Weather and Tides
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|Sunrise 9:45AM||Sunset 4:35PM||Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:19 AM AKST (17:19 UTC)||Moonrise 11:49AM||Moonset 12:00AM||Illumination 38%|
7 Day Forecast for Marine Location Near St. Paul, AKHourly EDIT Help
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FXAK68 PAFC 191450 AFDAFC
Southcentral and Southwest Alaska Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Anchorage AK 550 AM AKST Tue Jan 19 2021
ANALYSIS AND UPPER LEVELS.
A weakening low continues to slowly drift inland over Southcentral this morning as it brings diminishing areas of mixed precipitation towards the back side of the system, or across portions of the Mat-Su Valleys and eastern Kenai Peninsula. Despite low level flow clearly becoming more southwesterly in the 12z Anchorage sounding, a residual warm layer in the lowest 1000 ft has clung to life just enough to keep precip type near sea level a rain/snow mix for much of the early morning. Despite the expectation for a cooler air mass to continue to push into the area today, it appears the lower atmosphere will dry out prior to what would be a full transition to snow down to the lowest elevations, and any new snowfall in the immediate Anchorage area this morning should remain quite on the light side.
Elsewhere, snow has continued to fall at a good pace across southwestern portions of the Copper River Basin and in the eastern Chugach Mountains north of PWS. However, the snowfall event for the region is also in the process of winding down, and conditions by and large should improve across the area through the course of the day as the low center quickly fills and shears out. The next system of interest for Southcentral is clearly defined on infrared and water vapor imagery as a potent closed low and attendant upper shortwave marching quickly northeastward, currently situated to the south of the Eastern Aleutians in the North Pacific. Out west, a front extends across the central Bering from a long-occluded low west of Attu Island with plenty of marine instability fueling scattered convective snow showers behind the boundary over the far western Bering and Aleutian chain.
MODEL DISCUSSION. Models remain in good agreement with most synoptic features through mid to late week. Some discrepancies persist with the low expected to cross over Kodiak Island Tues night into Wed morning. While all models show the low quickly weakening by Wed, the track of the remnant surface low as it continues north/east from Kodiak differs, with the EC taking the center into the southern Kenai Peninsula and the GFS pulling the low well out into the central Gulf. NAM and most hi-res guidance work as a good middle ground for this package with the low remaining just offshore prior to dissipation Wed night. Issues with precip type will also become a forecast challenge across the Southwest going into Thurs as a front associated with a Bering low moves onshore and as ridging builds into the mainland. Models still differ somewhat on the degree of warming with the expected surge of southerly flow late Wed to Thurs across the AKPEN and Southwest interior.
AVIATION. PANC . Precipitation will continue to let up with a continued mix of rain and snow ending very early this morning. Occasional MVFR to briefly IFR conditions with any lingering rain/snow showers remain possible before precipitation clears, but should be generally seeing improvement to VFR visibility and MVFR ceilings within the first couple hours of the period. Ceilings should also continue rising up to to VFR by midday. Light south winds will persist throughout.
.SHORT TERM FORECAST SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA (Days 1 through 3: Today through Thursday Night) .
As the storm that brought the record setting rain to Southcentral finally winds down, expect a bit of sunshine for the Cook Inlet region later on this afternoon as the low dissipates. In the meantime, lingering rain and snow continue from Anchorage north into the Valley, which will slowly end from southwest to northeast, but may persist up in the Valley for much of the morning. A rain/snow mix in Cordova this morning will also diminish in intensity. Meanwhile, the heavy snow has been very persistent along the portions of the Glenn and Richardson Highways in the Copper River Basin where the Winter Storm Warning will expire at 6am. While the heaviest of the snow will be over by then, expect lingering snow to persist into this afternoon before dissipating.
The break in the weather will be very brief along the coast, as the next low moves in from the southwest tonight. As mentioned in previous discussions, this low will be nowhere near as strong or impactful for Southcentral as the one ending currently. In addition to tonight's storm being much weaker, it will track parallel to the coast instead of into the coast, and won't have nearly as much moisture to work with. As a result, another round of coastal rain and mountain snow/mix will move up the coast tonight, with up to a foot of new snow at higher elevations and much less than that at road level. This storm may also be a shade cooler, which should help to bring snow levels down, but temperatures close to freezing still means the snow will be a heavy, wet consistency, which will not accumulate quickly. The easterly flow will also get snowfall rates going up across the western Susitna Valley due to upslope. A small bit of this upslope may impact the far western Kenai Peninsula, including along the Sterling Highway from Kenai to Anchor Point, but is not expected to amount to much. Associated precipitation with this low will end from west to east during the day on Wednesday. Lingering upslope easterly flow may keep some snow shower activity into the eastern Kenai mountains around Whittier into Wednesday night.
Unfortunately, the next front follows very quickly on the heels of this low starting Wednesday night in Kodiak. This front will be different from either of the two aforementioned lows because it looks to stall around Kodiak and the western Kenai Peninsula for most of the day Thursday. Warm southerly flow will keep precip all rain in Kodiak through Wednesday night. There is some discrepancy as to how far east the associated precipitation gets, but by Thursday morning most of the coastal Kenai Peninsula should be getting rain or mountain snow. The precipitation should also invade well up into the Susitna Valley as well, which should all fall as snow. A secondary disturbance tries to move the front a bit further east Thursday night, expanding the precipitation along the mountains of Prince William Sound. The Chugach and Kenai mountains should prevent most of that precipitation from affecting Anchorage and the Mat Valley, as well as the Copper River Basin. These areas can expect cloudy conditions through Thursday night with temperatures remaining well above average.
SHORT TERM FORECAST SOUTHWEST ALASKA (Days 1 and 2).
A fairly complex weather pattern is expected across Southwest Alaska over the next couple of days. The pattern will have a quiet start today as offshore flow continues to bring cold and dry weather to the area. The main feature during the forecast period is a low pressure system moving northeast across the Bering Sea into Southwest Alaska. The current low track is projected to take the center of the low to the northwest of the area, thus putting the Southwest on the southeastern flank of the storm. This will make precipitation type a concern. As of now, there is low confidence in the precipitation type forecast as there is a large spread in forecast vertical profiles across Southwest Alaska. However, there is confidence that the precipitation type will not be all snow. There is a concern for freezing rain potential as there is a very cold airmass in place at the moment and the warm air advection will create temperature inversions across the area during the time of precipitation.
SHORT TERM FORECAST BERING SEA/ALEUTIANS (Days 1 and 2).
An active weather pattern will continue across the Bering/Aleutians over the next couple of days as a storm system moves northeastward across the central Aleutians into the Bering Sea. This storm will bring widespread gale force winds with a smaller area of storm force winds on the southeastern flank Wednesday morning through Thursday night. This storm is expected to also produce large seas in excess of 20ft. These seas will be moderate to long in period.
MARINE (Days 3 through 5): Thursday through Saturday.
Gulf of Alaska: A trough extending across the Northern Gulf deepens into a low south of Cordova by Sat. While model tracks and development vary, confidence is good for southerly small craft winds and waves with local gale force gusts to spread over the Gulf through Sat. The higher winds extend around Kodiak Island and through the Barren Islands for Thu and Fri. Winds become westerly small craft level across the Southern Gulf with wave heights from 15 to 17 feet spread over the Southern Gulf through Sat.
Aleutians/Bering: A well-developed low near St Matthew Island moves northward through the period. A North Pacific low moves into the Eastern Bering by Sat. Model tracks and development are mixed, with fair confidence through the period. Widespread small craft winds and waves with locally strong gale force gusts wrap the Northern Bering low, diminishing late Fri. Waves to 18 feet around the Pribilofs diminishing with this low. The second low brings southerly small craft winds along the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula. Winds become westerly over the Eastern Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula and remain southerly in the west. Wave heights south of the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula to 18 feet.
LONG TERM FORECAST (Days 4 through 7): Friday through Monday.
A warming trend will continue late this week into the weekend as a front continues to move over the Alaska mainland. A front spreading across the Southwest will bring mostly rain to the region, becoming more showery in nature through Saturday. This system will continue into Southcentral Alaska and then start to clear out on Sunday.
Another low pressure system will enter the western Bering and Aleutians late Saturday, which will bring another round of widespread precipitation and strong winds across the area. The associated front will reach the Southwest coast between Sunday and Monday, while areas farther inland and across Southcentral will remain dry to start the week.
AFC WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES. PUBLIC . NONE. MARINE . Heavy Freezing Spray: 412,414,160,180. Storm Warning: 170, 173-176. Gale Warning: 351,352,120,130,131,132,138,139,412-414,150,155,160, 165,171,172,177-179,180,185. FIRE WEATHER . NONE.
SYNOPSIS AND MODEL DISCUSSION . AS SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA . JPW SOUTHWEST ALASKA/BERING SEA/ALEUTIANS . ED MARINE/LONG TERM . MK/AH
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