A “polar express” dives south across the state for the end of November

First significant outbreak of arctic air, direct from the North Pole, spreads south across the state for the final days of November.
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 12:11 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Climatologically speaking, we go from a normal high of 27 degrees down to 26 heading into the first three days of December. That said, one look at our seven day forecast graphic shows high temperatures dropping into the upper single digits for highs on Tuesday. Morning lows both Tuesday and Wednesday will drop down below zero for the first time this young cold season. I am talking readings that will range from 15 to 20 degrees below normal! Now there’s a shock to the system especially considering the recent warmth..

We can thank a building and strengthening ridge of high pressure, both at the surface and in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere, responsible for the upcoming cold spell heading into Southcentral and Southeast. Just like in real estate, it’s all about “location, location, location.” You may remember that air moves clockwise around high pressure in the northern hemisphere, which means in the current pattern, a flow of air will begin to move steadily south across the state direct from the North Pole. Thank you, Santa!

Those temperatures will bottom out around 5 degrees by mid-morning (sunrise) on the west side of town with single digits below zero for those of you along the hillside. Winds will be brisk and blustery, especially south of Anchorage, where gusts may reach 50 mph through those north/south oriented mountain passes.

A High Wind Watch goes into effect from 9 p.m. Monday through noon on Wednesday for Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan, and all of Juneau. Here, too, high pressure will accelerate as it funnels through the numerous northeast/southwest oriented mountain passes and channels. “Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could also be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”

Sunshine continues for the remainder of the week, with temperatures warming back up through the teens mid-to-late week with low 20s and some light snow next weekend. Just enough to keep the snow cover freshly white for Santa and his team of reindeer heading into the next major holiday.