Hot and dry weather has settled over most of the state.
National Weather Service meteorologist Shaun Baines in Anchorage says while temperatures are high in the region, they won’t break records:
“Over southcentral, we’re looking for hot temperatures this time of year, but not necessarily records.”
The record high temperature in Anchorage is 86 degrees, recorded on June 25th 1953. The forecasted high is 85 degrees for several days next week. But Baines is relatively confident no records will fall, because records are measure at the National Weather Service office in the Southwest part of the city:
“We’re going to be much warmer on the east side of town than on the west side of town.”
One of the reasons for all this heat, Baines says, is a phenomenon along the coast called “offshore flow” that keeps the ocean breeze from cooling us off:
“Why it’s been so warm in Anchorage and Seward and Valdez and Whittier, all these coastal locations, is this offshore flow that keeps the sea breezes from coming in the afternoon and evening.”
Hot weather is also in the forecast for interior Alaska. Bob Fisher is a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.
“Looks like Fairbanks area and much of the Alaskan Interior is going to be experiencing a protracted heat wave which could last two weeks, possibly even longer than that.”
Fisher says interior temperatures are forecasted to range between 85 and 90 degrees. A brief break in the heat is possible in the eastern interior Sunday night and Monday, as a cold front may briefly dip down from the arctic coast. The hot weather, and some thunderstorms, will increase the fire danger over much of the state, but the National Weather Service isn’t predicting the high winds necessary to rapidly spread wild fires.