Anchorage is predicted to test or best its highest-temperature ever recorded of 85 degrees (set in 1969) on five straight days between July 4 and 8. It could even flirt with 90 degrees.
The National Weather Service in Anchorage wrote that most of southern Alaska will be “downright hot with many locations in the 80s and even low 90s.”
Anchorage’s nighttime lows may settle only in the mid-60s during this hot stretch, which is close to its average high at this time of year.
“This 7-day forecast contains the warmest 1-day, warmest 2-day, warmest 3-day, warmest 4-day, warmest 5-day, warmest 6-day, and warmest 7-day period on record for Anchorage,” tweeted Alaska climatologist Brian Brettschneider.
It also follows a historic heat wave in Europe, which shattered records.
Alaska’s temperatures have shifted abruptly higher in the past few years, and it’s a similar story across the Arctic more broadly because of climate change.
Sea ice surrounding the state is at record-low levels. The open water and lack of ice has elevated ocean temperatures more than 4.5 degrees (2.5 Celsius) above normal.
The combination of the unusually warm coastal waters, the intense dome of high pressure over land, and near peak energy from the sun (just 10 days removed from the summer solstice) will act to maximize the potential for historically high temperatures.
Even before the development of this latest heat dome, strong high pressure has frequently sprawled over Alaska in recent weeks, leading to unusually high temperatures.
Alaska climatologist Rick Thoman tweeted that Anchorage, Kotzebue, Talkeetna and Yakutat all posted their warmest June on record, while Nome, King Salmon and McGrath logged their second-warmest June.
Record-breaking temperatures to close June helped the monthly averages soar this high. As one example, it hit 92 in Northway, near the eastern border with Canada on June’s final day.
While this blast of heat will eventually ease next week, the forecast calls for more warmer-than-normal conditions later into July and August.