Alaska Meteorological Station Density Map
Alaska has a very large area with complex terrain and very few meteorological observation platforms
which makes the estimation of gridded observed precipitation and temperature a very difficult task.
Additionally, the number of meteorological stations accurately observing precipitation decreases during
periods of freezing and sub-freezing temperatures. As temperatures drop and water freezes, automated
measuring stations can lose the ability to report accurate or reliable precipitation amounts. Although
automated stations can have similar problems during non-freezing periods, the issue is less common.
To illustrate time-of-year variability of usable meteorological stations throughout the Alaska-Pacific
River Forecast Center (APRFC) domain in North America, this map shows APRFC's domain overlaid with a grid
consisting of 10,000 square-mile cells (100 miles by 100 miles). The map presents usable precipitation
observations as points and grid cells are colored to indicate the number of usable observations occurring
within each grid cell on that date.