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Convective Alaska

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Instrument Rating

So I know that Convective Outlooks dont get issued in Alaska starting in October thru the winter, but why is it meteorlogically that there is no convective activity in Alaska in the winter time? We sure do get a lot of strong storms, esp from Siberia. Is it that the mountainous areas do not allow for storms to build upwards while they are moving?

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1 Answers

  1. Bill Trussell on Jan 10, 2013

    Thinking back on the requirements for convective activity you need: Moisture (check), Unstable atmosphere (doubt this happens very much at the upper levels in winter in Alaska) and an initial lifting source such as wind up a slope or heating from below. While strong winds can force air up a slope in Alaska nearly any time and any season, heating from below should be rare. Bottom line is that the upper levels of the atmosphere do not support vertical development in winter in Alaska hence no convective activity even though initial sources of lift are possible. Strong winds due to very large pressure gradients and the mess it brings with it are another story alltogether.

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