Tropical Tidbits from the Tundra


By: Levi32, 6:09 PM GMT on January 31, 2006

There are no signigicant changes this morning. Some to the models are starting to diverge from the main solution, but the canadian and the GFS are still holding to the currently accepted solution. The GFS has been exceptionaly stubborn. It has had this solution going for two weeks! And if the GFS is that consistant, then it is a good bet that it is right. The first storm is already bombing out east of Japan. You can see it good on satellite. I will leave the rest of yesterdays post unchanged below.

I am growing increasingly concerned about a potentially major winter storm here is southern Alaska this weekend. The concern is that the cold temps are still hanging around, so there is plenty of cold air to poor into any storm that tries its luck at hitting the state. Here is what the models are currently thinking. A storm will track east across the Pacific from Japan. This low will intensify early, moving just south of the Aleutian Islands. This low will curve up toward southwest Alaska, bringing with it plenty of warm air to erode the cold dome that has plagued us so long. However, the air will not be warm enough to support snow, at least not at first. This is where two solutions conflict. Either the low stalls south of Bristol Bay and remains strong with waves moving up the front into the gulf, or it moves northwest and weakens while a new low rides the jet up into southern Alaska much stronger than the one before it. Possibly in the 950’s pressure range. If this new low comes up, then that just might bring air warm enough to support snow. But I think it will be borderline, and it will depend on the exact track of the storm. I just hope that it does not knock out the power during the Superbowl. That would be a disaster that I would cry about. Here some of the latest model runs and a satellite image.

Latest GFS

Latest Canadian

Latest European

Here is IR and Visible Satellite:

Pacific IR
Pacific Visible

Augustine Erupts

By: Levi32, 6:47 PM GMT on January 29, 2006

I thought it would be cool if I did a blog on Augustine Volcano during its episode of unrest. Right now it is in the middle of a long eruption that started yesterday afternoon. The ash is currently heading to the south and southwest, affecting Kodiak Island and the eastern Alaska Peninsula. I live in Homer, so if the wind switches to the east or northeast, then we will get the ash too. Here are some links for information about Augustine, and a couple images below.

AVO Augustine Monitoring Page
Here you can get the latest information, pictures, and webcams.
Anchorage Forecast Office Augustine Page
Here are the latest ash and other hazards advisories and other information.

Here is a super zoomed in radar loop of Augustine. When Augustine is in eruption, the radar picks up the explosion and ash clouds and you can see them come off the volcano and move away. Below that you will see a link to the seismograph for Augustine. Right now there is lots of Activity, so it is a perfect time to monitor both these images. Both update every 10 minutes.

Augustine Radar Loop

Link to the Augustine Seismograph

For more information and safety tips, please visit Pamshubby's blog.

Now This is Alaskan Winter!!!

By: Levi32, 5:57 PM GMT on January 26, 2006

Well we have finally cooled off here in Alaska. The temperature right now at my house is -6. Homer is near the waters of Katchemak Bay, so the temps are modified by quite a bit. So lets see what the temperature is 75 miles north of here in Soldotna. Minus 27!!! That is cold! But it gets into the 50’s below zero in the interior of the state, with some of the coldest air in the northern hemisphere situated there.
Now this is an Alaskan winter as bad as advertised down in the states. Cold, windy, and snowy! We received a foot and a half on Monday, with the temperature at -3, and 40 M.P.H. wind gusts. Now it is calm, but still cold, as you read above. A major trough has established itself over Alaska, and this has been sucking the cold air into the state. The low that caused the snow on Monday ran right into the cold dome and got stopped in its tracks. So it rang out its load of moisture and sat until it spun itself out. The trough has nudged a little to the east, so we are under a cold dry NW flow aloft, while all the storms head into the southeast panhandle and the pacific northwest.
The latest GFS has the jet stream becoming more zonal and less amplified for the next week or so, with the cold remaining until early next week. Then some storms will try to ride north as the trough backs west, and may bring some snow into the coming weeks. The GFS has been up and down as to whether lows will come far enough west to bring warm enough air for rain instead of snow. But I think there is a good chance that the cold will hold enough for the amplifying ridge to stay east and bring us some good snow. And this could be a set up for a classic Alaskan winter.

Here is the latest radar, satellite, and a N. hemisphere 500mb chart:

Alaska Enhanced IR Satellite Loop
N. Hemisphere 500mb Chart
Southcentral Radar 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.

Tropical Tidbits from the Tundra

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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