Virtual Alaska Weather Symposia

  1. Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM AKDT
    Speaking: Jessica Cherry, National Weather Service

    This talk will provide a brief overview of current hydrologic conditions and notable events over the past winter, including late freeze up on the Kuskokwim, heavy snow in parts of the Interior, and drought in Southeast Alaska. I will provide an outlook for breakup on the larger rivers this spring and possible flood risks, as well as information about our daily forecast products through breakup and during open water season.

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  2. Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM AKDT
    Speaking: Emily Berndt, NASA
    Cross-track Infrared Sounder/Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (CrIS/ATMS) soundings processed though the NOAA Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) (i.e. NUCAPS Soundings) are currently available in AWIPS-II as vertical temperature and moisture profiles for forecasters to diagnose unique forecasting challenges. To further realize the potential of NUCAPS Soundings in the operational environment, a team of scientists and forecasters developed the capability to view 2-D gridded plan view and cross section displays of NUCAPS Soundings (i.e. Gridded NUCAPS) in AWIPS-II. The capability was initially developed in conjunction with the Anchorage, Alaska, Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) to diagnose layers of cold air aloft which are hazardous to aviation activities. This presentation highlights the collaboration with the CWSU, outlines additional applications, and explains recent activities to decrease the latency of NUCAPS data and baseline the Gridded NUCAPS in AWIPS.

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  3. Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM AKST
    Speaking: Perry Dehne, NOAA; Julia Ruthford, NOAA; & Emily Niebuhr, NOAA NWS
    Kodiak City on Kodiak Island is one of the busiest port cities in Alaska and home to one of the largest Coast Guard bases in the United States. However, strong wind events may impede or even prohibit both air and marine traffic. An intense gap wind and mountain wave hybrid event occurred on December 2nd and 3rd which the National Weather Service Office in Anchorage, AK successfully anticipated. In this presentation, the factors leading to this strong wind event will be explored in-depth. In addition, a climatology of the top 10 wind events to occur in Kodiak City will be presented and classified based on similar synoptic and mountain wave properties. Finally, a statistical gap wind tool has been developed to help forecasters anticipate wind events which will be shared.

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  4. Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM AKST
    Rick Thoman, NWS & Wanqui Wang and Mike Halpert, CPC

    Over the past few years, the Climate Prediction Center has begun issuing an expanded array of products to meet stakeholder needs, including seasonal sea ice forecasts and week 3-4 outlooks of temperature and precipitation. Interest in forecasts of Arctic Sea Ice have grown over the past few years, as earlier melting and later freeze ups has resulted in increased interest from energy and transportation concerns, while important decisions in sectors ranging from food security and public health, to emergency management and national security rely on forecast information at timescales out to weeks 3 and 4. To support this interest, CPC began issuing experimental seasonal sea ice forecasts for the Arctic region in March 2015 and experimental week 3-4 temperature and precipitation outlooks in September 2015 (the week 3-4 temperature outlook became operational in May 2017).

    Seasonal forecasts of Arctic sea ice were initialized from the 8th-12th of each month from March to October 2015, except for April 2015 as well as in 2016 and 2017, with plans to continue in 2-18. Initial conditions for these outlooks were from the University of Washington Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) for sea ice thickness, and from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) for other fields. The forecast model used for the predictions (CFSv2p) is an offline experimental version of the Climate Forecast System, which is the same as the NCEP Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2), except for two modifications, which have enabled these experimental forecasts to be more skillful than outlooks produced by the CFSv2.

    The week 3-4 temperature and precipitation product features two category outlooks (above- or below-average) for 2-week mean temperature or 2-week total accumulated precipitation along with a text prognostic map discussion explaining the rationale behind the outlook. The product is released once per week on Friday at 3 PM. This experimental product seeks to close the gap in the NWS seamless suite of outlooks between CPC’s Week-2 and 1-month outlook periods. The science behind these outlooks will be presented along with some preliminary verification and future plans for the products.

    Forecasts for conditions one to two weeks in the future occupy that vague middle ground between weather and climate, but many users in Alaska need actionable forecast information at this time scale. Predictability of specific weather events is difficult at best, but more often overall patterns can be anticipated. This presentation will provide an overview of the rapidly developing toolkit to provide state of the art information in this critical but difficult realm.

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  5. Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM AKST
    Emily Niebuhr, NOAA NWS

    A wide range of processes contribute to heavy precipitation events in Anchorage Alaska. Atmospheric Rivers may stream moisture-rich air northward from the tropics which is released along the steep coastal terrain of the Chugach Mountains, or moisture may be recirculated locally in intense convection. The most intense rainfall events in Anchorage are heavily linked to mesoscale processes ranging from orographic lift, gap wind convergence and mountain waves. In this talk, I will explore the importance of these processes in inducing some of the heaviest 24 hour rainfall events reported at the Anchorage Airport. In addition, I will explore the accuracy and ability of high resolution models to capture these events and associated processes.

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Virtual Alaska Weather Symposia

IARC Group Plus

This partnership between the Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) and the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) brings cutting edge satellite based presentations to a broad audience and complements GINA’s and NWS’s deep pool of speakers and topics.

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