ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Anchorage will warm up to 67 degrees on Thursday with mostly cloudy skies.
The combination of the warm air mass over Interior Alaska and the high pressure over the Gulf of Alaska is producing the flow out of the south up Cook Inlet. This flow from the ocean out of the south is expected to persist in the next several days. This will result in a significant cooling trend across the Southcentral region along with much higher minimum relative humidity. The influx of cool moist air into the Copper River Basin last night and this morning will result in high temperatures decreasing by around 10 to 20 degrees today/Thursday through Friday compared to the last week.
Mostly cloudy in Anchorage on Thursday with some areas of smoke, early fog, early possible drizzle while we warm up to 67 degrees. Thursday night we drop down to 58 degrees while under mostly cloudy skies with areas of smoke.
Mostly cloudy on Friday with some areas of smoke while we see a high of 66 degrees. Friday night we drop down to 55 degrees while under mostly cloudy skies with some areas of smoke.
Looking ahead, Anchorage will be mostly cloudy on Saturday with a high of 66 degrees with some areas of smoke.
Fire Weather: With the shift of the ridge of high pressure, fire weather concerns have changed throughout the region. The cooler, more moist conditions have improved fire weather overall but the increasing instability lends itself to more thunderstorms. Although the thunderstorm coverage itself may not be widespread, the amount of lightning in these storms is pretty high, so Lightning Activity Levels will remain in the 3 to 4 range for Southwest Alaska and the Copper River Basin through Thursday. A level 3 is for widely scattered thunderstorms with light to moderate rain reaching the ground. Lightning is infrequent, 6 to 10 cloud to ground strikes in a 5 minute period. A level 4 will consist of scattered thunderstorms, while moderate rain is commonly produced and lightning is frequent, and the potential for 11 to 15 cloud to ground strikes in a 5 minute period. Air is still pretty dry in the upper atmosphere, so gusty winds are a concern in any thunderstorms that form.
Heading into the weekend, the ridge of high pressure weakens allowing for some waves of storm energy to move down from the north. This is a good setup for showery precipitation especially in higher terrain but it will not deliver widespread wetting rains. The available moisture is enough that underneath the showers, wetting rains should occur. However, there may be broad areas that do not receive rain in this pattern.
By early next week, the ridge of high pressure will have shifted so that it's centered over Canada with the potential of a low-pressure system over the southwest. This indicates an overall pattern change to a cooler, more moist pattern. However, at this point, it's too early to say exactly how this will manifest in precipitation patterns at the surface.
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