90-degree temperatures shatter all-time high heat records in Alaska

Many cities and towns in southern Alaska experienced record-breaking temperatures on the Fourth of July, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS Anchorage tweeted on Friday that all-time high records were broken in several monitoring spots as well as daily high temperatures. NWS also stated that daily record highs would break again Friday.

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Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, said temperatures were above normal “everywhere around Alaska.”

“The entire Gulf of Alaska, in the Bering Sea, in the Chukchi Sea south of the ice edge, exceptionally warm waters, warmest on record, and of course record-low sea ice extent for this time of year off the north and northwest coasts of the state,” he said.

In terms of all-time high temperatures records, four monitored areas saw highs between 88 and 90 degrees.

- Kenai hit 89 degrees, which broke the previous record of 87 degrees recorded on June 18, 1903, and June 26, 1953.

- Palmer reached 88 degrees, which marked a new record from a previous recording of 88 degrees on May 27, 2011.

- Anchorage International Airport saw a high of 90 degrees, which broke the previous record of 85 degrees on June 14, 1969.

- King Salmon reached 89 degrees, breaking the previous record of 88 degrees on June 27, 1953.



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As for daily records, four other areas in southern Alaska saw highs between 78 and 90 degrees.

- Homer experienced a high of 78 degrees, with the previous record-high on the same date being 71 in 2018.

- Gulkana reached 88 degrees, beating out a record-high of 86 on the same day in 1958.

- Anchorage: Merrill Field hit 90 degrees, breaking a previous record of 77 on the same day in 1999.

- Illiamna saw a high of 86 degrees and broke the record of 79 degrees reached on the Fourth of July in 1949.

The hot and dry conditions will continue for the next few days in the state as a strong high-pressure ridge system remained over the state, according to the NWS.

“Certainly, for instance, above-normal temperatures in Cook Inlet right now are contributing to the very warm temperatures that are being reported from Anchorage International,” Thoman said. “If it had been a cool spring and a cool June and water temperatures were cooler, exactly the same kind of atmosphere pattern may well not produce record temperatures.”

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The news comes as June was considered the hottest in Earth’s recorded history for many parts of the world, according to a satellite agency with the European Union.

Data showed that average global temperatures ranged about 0.10 degrees Celsius higher than that of the previous record-holder, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The service also stated that June as a whole was around 1 degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than a previous record set in June 1999 as well as a degree Celsius higher than expected trends in recent decades.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.