Alaska continues to fry, as wildfires flare up

Temperature difference from normal forecast for Friday by GFS model (WeatherBell.com)

Temperature difference from normal forecast for Friday by GFS model (WeatherBell.com)

After Monday’s record-breaking temperatures, it remains unseasonably warm in Alaska. And the heat may stick around – at least in the northern part of the state.

Writes the NWS office serving Fairbanks:

…REGARDLESS OF WHICH MODEL IS FOLLOWED…ALL OF THEM SPELL EXTREME HEAT FOR NORTHERN ALASKA ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE MID RANGE MODELS. THERE IS SOME DEVIATION IN TERMS OF HOW HOT…BUT RECORD BREAKING HEAT IS LIKELY THROUGH AT LEAST THE END OF THE MONTH ACCORDING TO ALL OF THE MODEL RUNS.

THE GFS DOES PROPOSE A SLIGHT COOL DOWN OVER THE WEEKEND BUT THEN RAMPS THE HEAT RIGHT BACK UP TO WHERE IT CURRENTLY IS BEGINNING MONDAY.

Through next Tuesday, as far out as it forecasts, the NWS calls for highs in Fairbanks between between 80 and 90 degrees. Normal highs there are in the low 70s.

The heat may not be as persistent in southern Alaska, especially near the coast, where it’s been cooler today and highs are generally forecast to be in the 60s and 70s through next week.

High pressure over Alaska led to pervasiveness clear skies Monday, allowing an unusual view from space of its various land surface features (NASA)

High pressure over Alaska led to pervasive clear skies Monday, allowing a rare cloud-free view from space of its various land surface features (NASA)

But Monday’s heat in the south may well have been historic. Weather Underground reports a high of 98 measured at Bentalit Lodge unofficially tied the hottest temperature ever recorded in the state.

“The only other time Alaska has been this hot was on June 15, 1969, when the mercury hit 96° in Fairbanks, and a 98° reading was recorded in Richardson (near Fairbanks),” writes Jeff Masters.

The hot, dry weather in the southwest interior has helped stoke wildfires. NASA posted this high resolution image showing wildfires burning Sunday.

Via NASA: "On June 16, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of wildfires burning in a remote part of southwestern Alaska. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire."

Via NASA: “On June 16, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of wildfires burning in a remote part of southwestern Alaska. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire.”

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