National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

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.