Prediction... 45 day out. Is it possible?

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by Ryan Overton

When I say think of a 4 letter word what do you think of? Some would say, "love" or maybe something else that can't be repeated on here. Either way there is a four letter word that is stirring quite a buzz in the Anchorage community, especially with our evening anchor, Stevie French. That four letter word is SNOW. 

 

Its one of the most commonly asked questions that I get, when will we see snow? 

 

I have talked before about how unpredictable Anchorage's weather is, or even Alaska's for that matter. Forecasts are really only accurate here about 5 days out. Now I should clarify. I am talking temperature wise they are valid 5 days out. We can see rain coming days away, that is why I do a 7 day forecast, because you see exactly a week and get a general sense of what is going to happen. We look at patterns, the jet stream and temperatures in other locations at certain times to determine what is coming and when.

 

Now you're probably wondering why we haven't seen snow yet, other than that one day back in September when it was just a tease. Well, the answer is the southerly flow we have had. Low pressure systems rotate counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere, so these systems grab warmer air from southerly locations that are generally warmer, such as the tropics, old typhoons out near Asia and Hawaii. This is one reason we have consistently seen temps in the upper 40's to low 50's for the last two weeks or so. So when will it change?

 

As of right now, I don't see it changing in the next 7 days. However, there is one place that is now predicting 45 days worth of weather. So if you want to know what will happen on Halloween, or Thanksgiving you can see. Accuweather.com claims they can predict 45 days out, including high and low temperature, probability of precipitation and cloud cover. So its time to put them to the test. I took screen shots of the next two months and we will go week by week recording temp/precipitation and cloud cover to determine whether or not they are at all accurate. 

 

The Washington Post also did a study to see if they were accurate.. Spoiler! - they weren't

 

They claim the first snow will happen on October 19th so mark your calenders! Below is the month of November! I wish them luck!

 

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