Major Christmas storm on the way - Watches issued

By: Levi32 , 7:07 PM GMT on December 20, 2007

After a week of poor handling by the models, we were all a little surprised at this next low coming north into the Gulf of Alaska. This low is already in the middle of the satellite image you can see below, and the cirrus shield is extending over southern Alaska. This low will be running into an exceptionally cold dome of air that has been sitting over most of Alaska for a week now. Temperatures in the interior have been pushing -50 the last few mornings, and Fairbanks is currently at -44. This clash of cold and warm will cause significant snowfall on the coastal areas, with some rain-shadow affect inland, limiting totals there. This low is a triple-point spawned by the parent low north of the Aleutians. The parent is already causing convergence between warm and cold air over Bristol Bay and the Kenai Peninsula, causing flurries and light snow. Even as the cirrus shield comes over from the triple-point, it is already snowing at my house lightly, and it's still only 7 degrees. This tells me that the dynamics are very much in place for this battle of warm and cold air to produce significant snow. The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch from 4pm local time this afternoon through tomorrow, and will likely get upgraded to a warning within a few hours. They are currently calling for a storm total of up to 20 inches, highest amounts along the Homer Bluff(where I live), and in Seldovia, across the bay from me. Our wishes of a white Christmas may finally be coming true! Inland areas of the Kenai Peninsula will not see as much snow due to downsloping, but most areas will still get advisory-level amounts when it's all said and done. That's it! Hope for the best, I know we all want snow. Good luck to all! Enjoy the storm :) I'll update again later.

We shall see what happens!

1036 AM AST THU DEC 20 2007

...HEAVY SNOW WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 12 PM
AST FRIDAY FOR ALONG KACHEMAK BAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ANCHORAGE HAS ISSUED A HEAVY SNOW
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 12 PM
AST FRIDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

A NEARLY STATIONARY TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE ALONG COOK INLET AND
COLD TEMPERATURES WILL BRING HEAVY SNOW FOR LOCATIONS ALONG
KACHEMAK BAY. STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 14 INCHES CAN BE
EXPECTED ALONG KACHEMAK BAY FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY
MORNING. GREATEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED NEAR SELDOVIA AND THE HOMER
BLUFF.


A HEAVY SNOW WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST
THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF
YOU MUST...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR
VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ121
Current NWS Forecast:

AKZ121-210100-
WESTERN KENAI PENINSULA-
INCLUDING...KENAI...SOLDOTNA...HOMER...COOPER LANDING
945 AM AST THU DEC 20 2007

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM AST THIS AFTERNOON
THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON AROUND KACHEMAK BAY...

.TODAY...SNOW SPREADING NORTH THROUGH THIS MORNING. SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES...HIGHEST AMOUNTS OVER KACHEMAK BAY.
HIGHS ZERO TO TO 10 ABOVE EXCEPT IN THE TEENS TO LOWER 20S SOUTH OF
CLAM GULCH. NORTHEAST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.

.TONIGHT...SNOW SOUTH OF CLAM GULCH...HEAVY AT TIMES. POSSIBLE SNOW
ACCUMULATION UP TO 12 INCHES...HIGHEST AMOUNTS AROUND KACHEMAK BAY.
ELSEWHERE...CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW. NEAR STEADY TEMPERATURES
ZERO TO 10 ABOVE EXCEPT IN THE TEENS TO LOWER 20S SOUTH OF CLAM
GULCH. NORTHEAST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.

.FRIDAY...SNOW SOUTH OF CLAM GULCH DIMINISHING IN THE AFTERNOON.
POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 8 INCHES...HIGHEST
AMOUNTS AROUND KACHEMAK BAY. ELSEWHERE...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A
CHANCE OF SNOW. HIGHS IN THE TEENS EXCEPT IN THE 20S SOUTH OF
CLAM GULCH. NORTH WIND 10 TO 15 MPH IN THE MORNING BECOMING LIGHT.







^Click for loop^






Webcam overlooking Homer and Kachemak Bay:


Webcam mounted on Peterson Bay weather station looking across toward Homer:


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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15. AKSnowLuvr
7:00 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
Are you talking about that next band that looks like a question mark in the Aleutians? Hmmmmm...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. Sheraqueenofthebeach
6:44 PM GMT on December 21, 2007


Merry Christmas!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. Levi32
5:48 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
5"..............=S

I'm mad lol, there was no reason we shouldn't have gotten more, oh well. I guess it's technically a white Christmas, but still not quite. I guess I'm just picky lol. There's more snow in the forecast as storms keep rotating up into the area from the south, and the GFS has another storm similar to this one impacting the western gulf at 84 hours. We'll see what happens.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. akweaver
4:05 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
We had zero snow ;-(...just wind.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. AKSnowLuvr
3:59 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
*pouts* we only got 1/2" in Sterling... :(
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. Lank
3:00 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
How much did you get from the storm? I noticed that the warning has now expired.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Milo
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. Levi32
12:17 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
Hey gamma!! Merry Christmas!

Weaver, there is a snow advisory for the Susitna Valley, and you should get some, but I wouldn't expect more than a few inches.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. seflagamma
11:42 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Hi Levi,

Great to see you back giving us weather reports from Alaska!!! How exciting!!

Merry Christmas to you!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. akweaver
11:40 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Delighted you are getting some quality snow dumping. Does this snow event have any potential of coming north to Matanuska valley region? Our temp is up to 10 and the winds have just started (I live in a wind channel area), but no snow.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. AKSnowLuvr
8:22 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Beggars can't be choosers, but I'll take a warning!!! It's up to 0F already!! woo hoo!!!
(doing a happy dance)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. Levi32
7:49 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
It's been upgraded to a warning!

1036 AM AST THU DEC 20 2007

...HEAVY SNOW WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 12 PM
AST FRIDAY FOR ALONG KACHEMAK BAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ANCHORAGE HAS ISSUED A HEAVY SNOW
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 12 PM
AST FRIDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

A NEARLY STATIONARY TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE ALONG COOK INLET AND
COLD TEMPERATURES WILL BRING HEAVY SNOW FOR LOCATIONS ALONG
KACHEMAK BAY. STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 14 INCHES CAN BE
EXPECTED ALONG KACHEMAK BAY FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY
MORNING. GREATEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED NEAR SELDOVIA AND THE HOMER
BLUFF.


A HEAVY SNOW WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST
THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF
YOU MUST...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR
VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ121

Weird though, the forecast updated an hour ago still said 20 inches, this says 14. Oh well, I'm still happy!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. Levi32
7:46 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
LOL you can't see anything because it's SNOWING, although not as hard as it might look. Look at the radar near the top of the blog and you'll see what I mean. There's low clouds and snow coming off the inlet making visibility very low. Nice dusting on the car already, but we won't see the heavy stuff until late this afternoon. Could be a nasty day for driving!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. AKSnowLuvr
7:43 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Wow... blink blink... you can't really see anything in the Homer webcam. I was looking at that and thinking, "Aw, look at the trees!...um, wait a minute... there's supposed to be the Spit, water and mountains out there!!!" HEY!! :D Love it. It's warming up FAST...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. Levi32
7:39 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
YEEHAW I can't wait! Yeah it was -5 when I woke up and now it's 8 above so it's coming. Lightly snowing already which is a good sign that we will get lots tonight. I'm sure you'll get a bit yourself, I hope it doesn't downslope like they're saying. I love it when they say Homer Bluff because my house is a half mile from it lol. Merry Christmas!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. AKSnowLuvr
7:35 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
WOO HOO!!!! It's about freakin' time!!! It's still -7F here at 10:30am (was -18.9 at 6am!) so I know it's headed this way. I'm not selfish... 4-6" would be loverly, thankyouverymuch! :D
hahahahaha!!!! Happy Holidays Levi! Hope you don't get stuck down there with all that snow headed your way!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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About Levi32

Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.

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