SNAP Highlights: Fall 2020

SNAP Highlights detail seasonally appropriate tools and data sets from the Scenarios Network for Alaska + Arctic Planning. As summer heat fades and autumn begins these SNAP resources can help you prepare for colder weather across the state.

Table of Contents

Wind is a major component of weather events

The Alaska Community Wind Data Tool can help you understand wind in your local area.

Across the state of Alaska wind dictates many activities. Weather patterns are shaped by it. Its shifts can dictate sea ice break-up along our coasts. Wind direction can be seasonal, and effect infrastructure and activities. Even travel is dependent upon wind forecasts. The new Alaska Community Wind Data Tool from SNAP and the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy (ACCAP) puts a network of wind measurement stations, decades of historical data, and innovative climate projection models in the hands of users.

With records from 67 communities, the tool can present historical and projected information in many ways. One useful way to visualize wind is through wind rose diagrams. These visualizations indicate primary wind direction and its relative strength. These roses are available for every community on a monthly basis, averaged over the entire year, and modeled for periods in the future.

In the plots below, you can see how the tool displays a high frequency of calm winds in Interior Alaska. Other parts of Alaska however, experience stronger winds for larger portions of the year or more pronounced patterns of directionality. 

Wind event change charts display predicted changes in frequency and strength of wind events over the coming years. The charts are based off of climate modeling and historical records and available for all 67 Alaska communities in the tool. 

Find all of the SNAP tools at

Understanding the past, and future of temperatures is critical for Alaskans. From freeze-up to green-up, shifts in temperature as a result of climate change are defining our new reality. Use these tools to investigate recent patterns in temperature across the state, as well as understand how SNAP’s climate science specialists are working to better understand the future of Alaska temperatures.

Statewide Temperature Index Tool
The Statewide Temperature Index Tool tracks the average temperature across Alaska. Temperature data from stations across the state are used to describe the temperature index and compare it to historical average temperatures. Daily temperature indices demonstrate whether temperatures on a given day are above or below normal, alongside a 30-day average which mutes the impact of short-term temperature fluctuations.

Community Climate Charts Tool
The Community Climate Charts Tool shows historical temperature observations alongside the best available future temperatures projections. This enables users to investigate the expected changes in temperature patterns for their community. While temperatures are projected to increase in most communities over coming decades, these increases vary by area. Data are available for several decades across Alaska and western Canada.

Data highlights

Historical and projected Rain On Snow (ROS) events

Rain falling on snow can result in ice crusts that have a significant impact on ecology and economy in Alaska and other Arctic regions. This new dataset of downscaled data, combined with high-quality climate projections, provides high-resolution variables for studying ROS events from 1979 to 2100.

Projected Monthly Temperature Products

With downscaled monthly temperature estimates available for all of Alaska and western Canada, the Projected Monthly Temperature product is useful for those interested in temperature shifts over the course of the year and into the near future. Data derived from each of the top ranked global circulation models and Representative Concentration Pathways available for download.

Download the SNAP Highlights document as a pdf.

Snap Highlights are also available as a digital document for download.