Southern Alaska has been the epicenter of the heat. Anchorage posted its hottest day on record Thursday, hitting 90 degrees, and then twice matched its previous all-time highest temperature of 85 degrees Sunday and Monday, notching its warmest week on record in the process. To top or tie an all-time record three times in five days is practically unheard of.
Through Monday, Anchorage had hit 80 degrees or higher six days in row, doubling the previous longest streak of three. Its average temperature over the past 12 days is five degrees higher than any comparable stretch on record.
So far this month, its average temperature is an astounding 12.4 degrees above normal.
Anchorage has logged eight days of 80 degrees or higher this year, doubling the old record of four from 2015. Tuesday’s temperatures should flirt with 80 once again.
Anchorage isn’t alone. It’s a similar story in Juneau, where there have also been eight 80-degree-or-higher days in 2019. This ties 2009 for second most in a year, with the top spot held by 2004, when there were 12 such days.
Other places in southern Alaska that have seen historically high temperatures, especially in the past week, include Kenai, King Salmon and Kodiak.
Alaska climatologist Rick Thoman gathered a list of what he calls the “headline” numbers so far, including all-time and July record high temperatures set since June 30 (it is not a comprehensive list).
The Alaskan heat wave is easing, but it’s not over. The days ahead feature temperatures dropping from record warm to very warm.
Longer-term outlooks generally predict that the warmth will persist, with above-normal readings likely to continue. This is very much in keeping with trends in a warming world.