Record high temperatures, near record warmth and green up

Published: May. 10, 2020 at 2:01 PM AKDT
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UPDATE: Fairbanks hits 80 degrees for the first time this year. The "average" date for the city seeing this temperature is June 12. This is the second earliest date to reach this milestone. The earliest ever 80 degree temperature recording (since 1930) occurred on May 9, 1995.

The state saw several record or near record high temperatures on Saturday and will likely see more on Sunday.

The Juneau Airport reached 76 degrees on Saturday. This is not only the first 70 degree or higher temperature for the year, it also breaks the previous May 9 record of 73 degrees set in 2014.

Yakutat Airport also broke its previous record, hitting 75 degrees. The previous record was 74 degrees in 1995.

Ketchikan Airport set a new daily record of 78 degrees for May 9, surpassing the previous record high of 77 degrees set in 1946.

Sitka set a new high for the day with a temperature of 71 degrees. This new high breaks the old record of 69 degrees set in 1975. Several locations in Southeast are expected to break daily high records.

Anchorage didn’t break the recor,d but it came awfully close, reading 69 degrees on Saturday. Anchorage's record high for May 9 is 70 degrees. The record high for May 10 is only 66 degrees, but afternoon cloud cover could stop Sunday temperatures from reaching the mid 60s.

And it looks like green up has occurred. If you have allergies and you feel like there is suddenly more pollen in the air, you're probably right. According to climate specialist Rick Thoman, green up is the time of leaf-out. He uses aspen and birch trees to make baseline assessments.

Anchorage's green up day was Saturday, May 9 and Fairbanks' is May 10.

Several things happen when green up occurs — pollen levels jump but the fire danger drops dramatically, and leaves opening release moisture into the atmosphere which raises the humidity at lower levels.

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