Thursday, June 20, 2013

Alaska -- the tropical paradise

Some of you weather geeks might know this already, but Alaska is experiencing some amazingly warm weather this week.

High pressure that typically establishes itself over central Canada, and at lower latitudes, has been parked over the Yukon and eastern Alaska for several days. The result has been some true summer weather up there.

Some meteorologists think the Alaskan heat eventually will have an impact on weather in parts of the lower 48 states.  More about that later.

First, here are some numbers from the land of the midnight sun:

Fairbanks has reached 86 degrees or higher for five straight days. It was 88 there Sunday. They've reached 90 degrees a number of times, but an extended streak like this is unusual.

Anchorage got to 81 degrees Tuesday, for its first 80-degree day in four years. Snow fell there a month ago.

Nome hit 86 degrees Wednesday, tying a record for the date. The average high on the west coast of Alaska is 56 at this time of year. Just 13 days ago, Nome had a high of 38 and snow fell.

Barrow, at the northern end of the world, got to 50 degrees Wednesday. The average is 42. The forecast for Thursday is upper 50s, possibly 60.  This is a place that stays well below zero for weeks at a time in the winter.

Juneau, down on the southeast part of the state, had 78 Wednesday.

The little town of Talkeetna, about 80 miles north of Anchorage, recorded 96 degrees Tuesday.

The high pressure system shifted a bit east Thursday, and temperatures are expected to be a few degrees cooler. But the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said Thursday morning that computer models indicate a return to the heat next week.

And I saw a story on Accu-Weather's website in which meteorologist Alex Sosnowski predicted  that the hot air eventually will be pushed southeast, tempered a bit, and affect Canada and the northern part of the United States.

Here's hoping Alaskans remember this heat next January, when it's 40 below zero in Fairbanks.


Anonymous said...

I don't even wanna think about what this system will feel like if it comes here.

Kirstin said...

I grew up in Anchorage AK, and I still have family and friends there, so I have heard first-hand about this heat wave. Growing up, I am not sure I knew what air conditioning was, and jackets were year-round fare. Climate change is happening, right now. These temperatures are unheard of!

Anonymous said...

This hot weather in Alaska is abnormal. They will be back to your jackets soon enough. A relative there just sent photos from a week ago and they wee wearing flannel shits and turtle necks.