Accession Number : ADP007289

Title :   A Winter Season Synoptic Climatology of Alaska: 1956-1986,

Corporate Author : ALASKA UNIV FAIRBANKS INST OF MARINE SCIENCE

Personal Author(s) : Milkovich, Mary F.

Report Date : MAR 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 10

Abstract : An objective, descriptive study of Alaska's winter climate is undertaken to identify regional monthly mean surface temperature and precipitation variability during the thirty-year period from 1956-57 to 1985-86. Ten basic anomaly 700-mb height patterns are described in terms of frequency of occurrence and possible associations with the surface climate variability observed in the nine NOAA land-based climate divisions of Alaska and the Gulf of Alaska (tenth division). Results indicate a cool, dry period from 1964-1976. Anomaly height patterns occurring during this period were predominantly characterized by northerly/northwesterly flow from the High Arctic or northeasterly flow from the Canadian Interior. The period from 1956-1962 was generally warm, and the most frequently occurring anomaly height patterns were characterized by southerly flow. The period following 1977 is the most variable of the thirty-year record. This period also includes some of the warmest temperatures seen in the records. Cold anomaly height patterns are interspersed among the slightly more frequent warm anomaly height patterns from 1977-1986. Overall seasonal-scale linear (best-fit approximations) trends appear to indicate a warmer, drier shift in the Interior climate and a warmer, wetter shift in the southern coastal climate.

Descriptors :   *CLIMATE, *SYNOPTIC METEOROLOGY, ALASKA, ANOMALIES, PATTERNS, PRECIPITATION, RECORDS, SURFACE TEMPERATURE, SURFACES, TEMPERATURE, VARIABLES, WINTER, GREENHOUSE EFFECT, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.

Subject Categories : Meteorology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE