IEM Daily Feature
Friday, 29 April 2005

North to Alaska

Posted: 29 Apr 2005 07:21 AM

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29 Apr 2005 GFS 500hPa heights.
Johnny Horton, the Singing Fisherman, sung about moving north to Alaska to find gold, but Iowans may popularize the phrase to find warmth! Alaska continues to record high temperatures while we suffer in 50s. Why is this happening you ask? The highlighted plot shows 500 hPa heights, which is the height above sea-level where the 500 hPa pressure surface is found. It can be shown that this value is proportional to temperature, so, in general, higher values indicate warmer temperatures. Notice the larger values in Alaska associated with a high latitude ridge and the lower values in the central US associated with a retrograding trough. The result is cooler weather for us and warmer weather for Alaska.

Good = 22
Bad = 6