Smoky haze today, but rain is in the forecast
Thursday morning was so smoky it had the look of a mostly cloudy start to the day. Behind the smoke, there was actually little cloud cover. Light wind overnight allowed smoke in the atmosphere from the Swan Lake Fire to settle over Anchorage and much of Southcentral.
As wind picks up a little throughout the day, smoke will slowly move out. Despite picking up, wind will remain light. That means a little smoke will last through the day— very similar to what we saw on Wednesday. By the afternoon, hazy sunshine will help temperatures climb to near 70 degrees.
High pressure starts breaking down and moving out Friday. That opens the door for a disturbance tracking up the Aleutians. This summer we've seen many promising storms fall apart before reaching Southcentral, but this one has all of the atmospheric dynamics working for it from the ground all the way to the jet stream high overhead.
That rain will hit Kodiak Friday afternoon then spread showers south to north along the Kenai later in the day. The rain doesn't hit until early early Saturday morning. Clouds will build Friday before Saturday's rain.
Models are in pretty solid agreement at this point. Model agreement just means that there is more faith in a given forecast. We could receive as much as 2 tenths of an inch of rain Saturday before the storm runs out of steam.
Another storm on the heels of Saturday's rain will keep showers and drizzle in the forecast. It's not what many want for Labor Day Weekend, but it's what Alaska needs.
While light, the rain Sunday and Monday could still be more than we've seen the entire month of August thus far.
This rain is our best hope at fighting fires and improving air quality in the near future.
-Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo