The Record Heat of Alaska

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by Brooks Putman

Hello everyone and welcome to our new weather blog! Here I am going to try and be insightful, scientific but most importantly we will have some fun. If you ever have a story idea or want to let me know what is going on in your area let me know! I would love to write about it! However, our first topic obviously has to be about the heat… Who ever thought we would be breaking heat records this year? Not me….

 

Anchorage has had one of the warmest summers on record. Currently sitting at 4th warmest summer we have had 39 days now over 70 degrees and 19 of them coming in July. That 19 tied the record for most days in July over 70 degrees and we also just broke the streak for most consecutive days over 70 degrees with 15! The previous record was 13 set back in 2004. Now our 39 days over 70 degrees is only 10 days shy of breaking the all-time record for number of days over 70 at 49 days. I know it’s a lot of numbers… I’ll break it down for you.

 

  •  15 days consecutively over 70 degrees broke the previous record of 13 days back in 2004.
  •  39 days over 70 degrees makes this the 4th warmest summer on record. Warmest ever was 49 days over 70 in 2004.
  • 19 days over 70 degrees in the month of July tying the record for most days over 70 in the month of July!

 

Now in Fairbanks they just tied their record for most days over 80 degrees at 30! They will have a chance the rest of the week to beat it!

 

So what caused all of this? Well we had what is called a blocking high or an Omega Blocking High sitting over the Bering Sea for the last couple of weeks. A lot of times the upper level atmosphere affects what happens at the surface. In this case the high pressure in the upper atmosphere was able to steer several systems clear. We actually had several centers of low pressure pass right over Anchorage and South Central, however they did not produce rain because of how much influence the upper level high had.

In our case it took several days for this high pressure to even move east at all. The Aleutians have been extremely wet the last couple of weeks as system after system have been moving from south to north straight across them. The jet stream is now pushing the high farther east and south which is why Juneau is now experiencing nice warm weather and conditions over the southwest part of Alaska are deteriorating quickly.

 

The heat was fun while it lasted! Of course we could see more nice weather into August but only time will tell!

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