Yes, several days of thunderstorms are unusual
After the thunderstorms that moved through Southcentral Sunday evening, Anchorage broke a new record…the most consecutive days with a thunderstorm: three.
Yes, this is the first time on record that Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport has reported three consecutive days of thunderstorms since 1953 when they started keeping local climate reports, according to Brian Brettschneider, climatologist with National Weather Service Alaska Region.
Brettschneider says, since 1960, the airport has reported 77 days with thunderstorms, including this Sunday. This averages out to about 1.3 thunderstorms a year.
To make it count as a thunderstorm day in Anchorage, it has to be heard at the airport. Brettschneider says, “they have to hear the thunder. They don’t have to get a drop of rain or see a lightning bolt but if they can hear the thunder, that counts as a thunderstorm.”
He says as a rule of thumb, if they lightning strikes within about seven miles, you can hear it. “If it [the lightning strike] happens in Muldoon, they’ll probably hear it, but if happens in Eagle River they probably won’t hear it,” says Brettscneider.
The record for consecutive thunderstorm days in Fairbanks is five according to the twitter feed of Rick Thoman, Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.