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Alaskan Temperatures Soar to the 90s, Challenge Records

By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
June 21, 2013, 2:08:03 AM EDT

Some of the warmest weather of the year arrived in Alaska over the weekend and will continue through the first part of the week. The heat is also raising the risk of wildfires.

Folks heading to The Last Frontier should be prepared for hot weather and possibly smoky conditions.

Heat challenged records in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska's two most populated cities, over the weekend. The high in Fairbanks on Sunday reached 88 degrees, falling just a degree shy of their daily record.

Talkeetna was the hot spot in Alaska on Monday, climbing to a scorching 96 degrees. The temperature shattered the highest reading ever recorded for the site. The old record of 91 degrees set on June 26, 1953, was equaled Sunday. The temperature hit 94 degrees at McGrath and 90 degrees at Cordova.


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Temperatures are forecast to continue to challenge, and possibly break, records again on Tuesday across parts of interior Alaska.

Temperatures will climb into the upper 80s and lower 90s through Wednesday with the highest temperatures being focused in southwestern Alaska. Meanwhile, cold ocean waters will limit temperatures along the coast to the mid-50s.

In addition to the heat, the weather pattern is also raising the risk of wildfires across the state.

According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, there are currently 29 active wildfires across the state. With the weather pattern not forecast to move much over the next few days, the wildfire threat will remain elevated.

These record-challenging temperatures are due to a northward bulge in winds high in the atmosphere that developed over central Alaska over the past weekend. The strong upper-level winds are known as the jet stream.

This particular jet stream pattern will hold its ground through the first part of the week, allowing the above-normal temperatures to continue.

Temperatures will start to ease a bit during the second half of the week as the jet stream shifts southward.

City
High Tues.
High Wed.
High Thurs.
Avg. High
Anchorage 80 73 72 63
Fairbanks 88 88 89 72
McGrath 92 86 83 69

This warm air will start to make up for the chilly spring that Alaska has had this year.

April was a particularly cold month, especially for the city of Fairbanks. In April, there was only one day where the city had temperatures that were above normal. When all was said and done, the month of April averaged 14 degrees below normal in Fairbanks.


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Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Lada.

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