In decades of weather records, Alaska had never seen a temperature above 90F before May 23. But this Saturday, the small city of Eagle – about 200 miles east of Fairbanks – soared to 91 degrees, the hottest temperature ever recorded so early in the calendar year in our 49th state.
Eagle joined a host of other weather stations in Alaska’s interior that set record highs Saturday, including Fairbanks which climbed to 86.
Between May 16 and May 24, Eagle hit 80 or higher for a remarkable 9 straight days – its second longest such streak on record for any time of the year. On Memorial Day, it finally cooled down a hair, logging a high of just 73.
Climatologist Brian Brettschneider pointed out Eagle’s 91F reading on Saturday was hotter than any temperature measurement so far this year in either Houston or Dallas, Texas.
Brettschneider further discovered:
- Only 12 percent of the U.S. had been warmer than Eagle’s 91F in 2015
- Only 40 percent of the U.S. had been warmer than Fairbanks’ 86F in 2015
The National Weather Service determined Fairbanks was hotter than most cities in the lower 48 to kick-off the Memorial Day weekend:
The upside down weather pattern over Alaska will continue to support above normal temperatures for the next week, although the record-challenging heat has relented somewhat.