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July starts out wet but summer still trending warmer than normal

(KTUU)
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 7:33 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Summer in Alaska means endless amounts of daylight and spending plenty of time outdoors.

This summer, some are describing the weather as cooler and wetter than normal. However, looking at the numbers overall, Brian Brettschneider, a research scientist with the National Weather Service, says that’s not the case.

In fact, he says some areas of the state — like Fairbanks and Juneau — have experienced the 10th warmest June they’ve had.

“Here in Anchorage, it was the 18th warmest June,” Brettschneider said. “The first week of July has definitely been a little bit below normal — but even if you include that first week of July, we’re still the 25th warmest summer to date here in Anchorage.”

He said by this time in 2016 and 2019, there had already been somewhere between 20-25 days in the 70-degree range in Anchorage compared to this year where there have only had three days.

He adds we’ve had several high-end warm summers in previous years which might explain why some think it’s cold these days. Still, overall temperatures have been warmer than the climate normal in Southcentral despite it feeling cooler to many.

However, in Southeast Alaska, it’s a different story where residents have felt the heat this summer. Brettschneider says they’ve experienced multiple days of record high temperatures in that area and says the heatwave in the Pacific Northwest has played a part in that.

“The heat dome that affected the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, just the periphery of that ended up impacting southeast Alaska, so they felt just the edge of that,” Brettschneider said.

He says on average, Alaska reaches its seasonal peak of temperatures the third week of July, so for those who like high-end summer temperatures and live in Southcentral, there’s still hope.

“We’re not even over the hump yet,” Brettschneider said. “It’s far too early to call an end to the high-end warm days.”

He also said the warming trend across Alaska will likely continue in the years to come.

“We should expect it to be warmer and that shouldn’t come as a surprise,” Brettschneider said.

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