In more than 100 years of Anchorage history, weather stations have never recorded a single 90-degree reading. If current forecasts hold, it could happen multiple times in the coming days.
With the combined forces of climate change that has disrupted temperature trends around the state, a remarkable dearth of ice in the Bering Sea and weather patterns generating a general heat wave, Alaska is facing a Fourth of July unlike any before. Anchorage has canceled its fireworks display because of wildfire concerns, city officials are worrying about air quality and forecasters expect temperatures to rival those in Miami.
“This is unprecedented,” Anchorage’s mayor, Ethan Berkowitz, said in an interview. “I tease people that Anchorage is the coolest city in the country — and climatically that is true — but right now we are seeing record heat.”
By any measure, the numbers are unusual. Alaska had its warmest March on record — in some places 20 degrees above normal. Once all the data is tabulated, it is likely to be the second-warmest June on record.