2019 was officially Alaska's hottest year on record

Eventual race winner Hannah Lafleur summits Mt Marathon on a day in which temperatures around...
Eventual race winner Hannah Lafleur summits Mt Marathon on a day in which temperatures around Southcentral Alaska reached up to 90 degrees and heavy smoke blanketed low-lying areas (KTUU)
Published: Jan. 9, 2020 at 11:18 AM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

It might be hard to remember during this cold snap, but 2019 in Alaska was warm.

Just how warm?

New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association shows 2019 was 6.2 degrees warmer than the longterm average for the state, with an average yearlong temperature of 32.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

That breaks the previous record of 2016 of 31.9 degrees.

Residents of Anchorage will surely recall the

that the city experienced on the Fourth of July amid caustic smoke from fires on the Kenai Peninsula, but many other communities also set records.

Utqiaġvik, Kotzebue, King Salmon, Fairbanks, Bethel, Anchorage, Northway, McGrath, Kodiak and Cold Bay all had their warmest years on records.

Sea ice also had a bad year, with the Bering Sea experiencing 70-80% less sea ice coverage than the 1981-2010 average.

The rest of the world, meanwhile, had its second-highest year on record, according to data from Copernicus, the European Union's observation program.

Worldwide, 2019 was just .07 degrees F below the 2016 record, but it was still about 1.08 degrees F above the historic average.

Copernicus also reported that the five warmest years have all come in the past five years.

The agency also reported that the most pronounced warming in the last decade has come in Alaska and some other parts of the Arctic.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.