Dense smoke led to cooler temperatures across Anchorage
It's been multiple days since Anchorage last saw the beautiful mountains that surround us on all sides, thanks to smoke from the Swan Lake Fire. Although the smoke has kept many indoors due to the poor air quality, it actually worked in our favor Sunday. Thanks to the increasing smoke, it acted as a shield and reflected most of the sun's rays. This is because smoke is made up of water vapor, gases, and fine particles, those ingredients together work to either absorb or reflect the rays of the sun back into space. Because of this occurring, there is less energy to heat us up. We certainly saw the effects of that today, as we only climbed into the lower 70s, a 12 degree drop from Saturday.
While the cooler weather was needed, and a nice break from the record heat, the smoke is still lingering across Southcentral. Current trends suggest the smoke will slowly clear out of the valley and Anchorage over the coming days, and drift back to the southern part of the Kenai. While this will be unfortunate news for them, we'll finally catch a break and get to enjoy some bluer skies.
If you're looking to get outside, you may still want to keep that water bottle handy. While the 70s stick around for the first part of the week, the ridge that has been flattening out will strengthen once more. This will once again bring the return to record heat, with afternoon highs near 80 and overnight lows pushing 60 degrees.
Have a great Monday!
-Meteorologist Aaron Morrison