Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.
By: Levi32 , 3:22 PM GMT on December 04, 2007
A snow advisory has been issued until 6pm local time today for the Kenai Peninsula. As I predicted earlier last week, a small surface low has formed under the upper trough positioned over the north Pacific, and is moving just west of Cook Inlet. With this storm comes a tiny pocket of warm air that is running straight into the mass of Canadian polar air in the interior of the state. The pattern change I talked about a few days ago is half-way complete, and arctic air has already replaced the big ridge. This storm, as small as it is, comes with an extraordinary amount of lift, hence the snow warnings. What concerns me is just how much lift is evident in my back yard. I live at 1034 feet above sea level, and most of Homer slopes from 100 feet eventually to the beach(0 feet). The temperature in town right now is 29 degrees, but at my house it is only 14. That's a 15 degree change in less than 1000 feet. I very rarely have ever seen temperature differences this large, and this is showing that we have a lot of cold air over a lot of warm air/water at the surface. This means very unstable conditions, and a lot of snow could fall in 12 hours over the area.
After this low moves through, a big storm out in the Aleutians will bring warm air and rain/snow into the area on Thursday, followed by several more from the same general area. The pattern is still being worked out by the models and run to run consistency in the medium/long term is very bad right now. Based on what I can tell from how the pattern in the lower 48 is developing, it looks like a trough over the Gulf of Alaska with systems coming across from the Aleutian Islands and into the gulf is the most likely pattern setting up here. This would mean possibly more cold and snow for southcentral, which would fit with the current La Nina pattern.
We shall see what happens!
^Click for loop^
Webcam overlooking Homer and Kachemak Bay:
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