Anchorage could challenge all-time record high temperature
Following the warmest June on record for Anchorage, the thermometer shows no signs of cooling down.
For the first time ever, the average temperature for the month of June climbed above 60 degrees. This is not only fueling continued concerns for wildfires but leading to higher freezing levels in the atmosphere.
With more snow and glaciers melting in the mountains, many rivers are approaching their banks. The Yentna River at Fish Creek, which is currently above flood stage, is one of the rivers that continues to climb as warmer temperatures lead to more melting. The river is expected to rise another foot through Wednesday, prompting the National Weather Service to extend the flood warning.
The culprit? A rather expansive area of high pressure has set up shop to our south, bringing not only record warmth, but significantly dry conditions to the area. (June also closed out as the driest on record.)
This has led to a very high fire danger across Southcentral, with growing concern for more wildfires. Currently the largest wildfire across Southcentral, Swan Lake Fire: 163,714 acres, 37% contained, is burning around 80,000 acres.
With little wind movement because of the high pressure, many areas continue to see reduced visibility due to dense smoke. And, with high pressure expected to strengthen in the coming days, the smoke will linger in many areas for several days. Many areas are already seeing dense smoke advisories, with air quality issues still a concern for parts of Southcentral.
How warm will Anchorage be?
With the large area of high pressure anchoring itself across the state, even warmer temperatures are expected — so warm that Anchorage could reach a record high warmer than 85 degrees.
While we have come close over the years, no year has been on pace to be the warmest summer like 2019 has. We've caught a brief break from the heat, but the first week of July will have many of us searching for the nearest swimming pool.
Temperatures each day will climb into the upper 70s and lower 80s, not only challenging the all-time record high for the city but breaking daily temperature records along the way. The warmest stretch looks to arrive July 4 and 5 when temperatures will top out in the low to mid-80s.
Unfortunately, the pattern shows no sign of letting up with record heat likely to stick around through the first two weeks of July.
What does this mean for the rest of July?
Depending on how long the area of high pressure sticks around, we could see another dry month. This will only spell more wildfire concerns, drought problems and continued burn bans for many weeks to come.
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MORE FROM THE KTVA WEATHER TEAM:
Live updates: Latest information on the Swan Lake Fire