More heat records broken, with smoke lingering through the weekend
Today not only marked a new record for Anchorage, but also the second day in a row when temperatures climbed above 80 degrees. The recent warm stretch continues to impact us, as a rather impressive ridge remains locked in place across the state. While the ridge is expected to push off to the east through the night that will mean "cooler" temperatures for us Sunday, but also the return to southerly flow. This isn't good news for us, as the southerly winds will pull in more smoke from the Kenai and lead to growing air quality concerns once more.
Because the smoke will be thick at times due to an inversion that has set up each night, the first ever Dense Smoke Advisory has been issued for Anchorage beginning at 4a.m. Sunday and lasting through 10p.m. Don't be surprised to see air quality levels creep back into the unhealthy category. Even though it will be slightly cooler through the day, highs in the upper 70s will once more yield more records for a large portion of Southcentral.
The ridge although shifting to the east for now, will build back in and strengthen in the coming days. This will mean the return to hot conditions as we head into next week, with some smoky weather sticking around through at least Monday. There are signs pointing to smoke filtering out of the Anchorage Bowl as we head into the middle of next week, but for the time being the mountains will continue to be obscured and the smoke will cause air quality issues.
Of note, the very warm and dry conditions that have gripped Southcentral will leave us with the hottest and driest June ever recorded. Unfortunately, the heat and dry conditions don't look to back away for the forseeable future.