Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.
By: Levi32 , 3:31 PM GMT on November 13, 2007
The model consensus has shifted much further south and east with the gulf low on Thursday and Friday. The feeling now is that this is a southeast panhandle problem, and won't be affecting south-central too much. However, we are far from out of the woods snow-wise this week. The system in the Bering Sea is preparing to move ashore in Bristol Bay, and is a highly convective low, meaning that it's fueled entirely on arctic air. Lows like this can produce copious amounts of snow if they sit in the same area. You can see it as a big popcorn-like structure in the center of the satellite image at the bottom of the blog entry. If you can see the land border well enough you'll see that it is almost ashore in Bristol Bay. Precipitation started making it north east of the Alaska range last night, but so far only a dusting has fallen at my house and not much more anywhere else. Later today the main convective zone will move over and we will get our dose of white. SW Alaska is getting dumped on right now, with some coastal areas changing over to rain. This will continue to be the case through tomorrow. This low will slowly drift east and end up in the western gulf by Friday. At this time former TS Tapah, the big storm, will be moving through the extreme SE gulf. One thing this storm will still be able to do is throw subtropical energy north into the Bering Sea low, further aiding precipitation and extending the life of the low by keeping a strong temperature gradient.
A new pattern is shaping up over the Pacific, and this trough will be sitting in our area for some time after this week is over. The models are very unreliable past day 5 in this type of pattern, so there is much to be worked out. For the rest of this week southern Alaska will see lots of snow flakes falling as the trough lurks around. Today I expect anywhere from 4-8 inches of snow in most places, with the exception of Anchorage and the Mat-su until they can overcome the rain shadow tomorrow. Areas of the north gulf coast such as Valdez could get some significant totals if it doesn't change over to rain. By Friday and Saturday the monster low in the SE gulf will make its closest approach to us as it drifts northwest and weakens. It will get close enough to deliver some pretty brisk winds, and will probably add to the moister and precipitation one way or another. Beyond this weekend the models are askew, and we'll just have to see what happens!
^Click for Loop^
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.