Memorial Day weekend brings dangerous fire conditions to Southcentral Alaska

Parts of the state remain under a red flag warning into Friday evening
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 6:44 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Rain has been limited this month across much of the state and that is leading to several issues headed into the holiday weekend.

For the first time since December of 2020, parts of Southcentral Alaska are seeing abnormally dry conditions. This comes as both April and May have been sitting in a rainfall deficit and unfortunately rain looks to remain rare over the next week. Combined with the dry conditions, temperatures are set to warm into the 70s for the first time this year across much of Southcentral. It’s even possible that portions of the Matanuska Valley could warm into the mid to upper 70s. These near-record highs will stay with us through the holiday weekend, with high to very high fire danger remaining an issue. A burn ban remains in effect for Anchorage for the time being, with other parts of Southcentral seeing a burn permit suspension.

The culprit is a rather pronounced area of high pressure that is anchoring itself across the state. This is leading to sunshine for more than half of the state, with any rain chances in the come days confined to the North Slope, eastern Interior and parts of the Panhandle.

With fire season here and dry conditions building into the state, remember that the majority of all wildfires are human caused. So far this year, nearly 80% of the more than 140 wildfires that have occurred in Alaska have been sparked by people.

Looking ahead to the first week of June, we could see some rain showers make their way back to Southcentral. This combined with more cloud coverage will drop temperatures back into the mid to upper 60s.

Have a safe and sunny Memorial Day weekend!

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