On this past 4th of July, the temperature in Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, soared higher than at any other point on record as record-crushing heat sprawled across the “Last Frontier” state.
The observed high temperature at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport climbed to a mind-boggling 90 degrees crushing its previous all-time record high of 85 degrees set 50 years prior on June 14th, 1969. This high temperature also crushed the daily record high for Anchorage on July 4th which was 77 degrees set back in 1999.
And just to put this into perspective, the average high in Anchorage on July 4th is 65 degrees. Anchorage was so warm, that it tied a few other places across the United States that also topped out at 90 degrees on the 4th. This includes West Palm Beach, FL, Memphis, TN, and Rockford, IL.
The source of this record-setting heat is due to the placement of the jet stream. Typically, the jet stream is located south of the state which keeps all the “scorching heat” away from Alaska. That wasn’t the case on this Independence Day. A rise in the jet stream has allowed an expansive dome of high pressure to form over Alaska. Underneath this high pressure system, sinking air has suppressed rain chances which has led to plenty of sunshine and record heat.
Anchorage wasn’t the only one posting record heat on America's birthday. Below is a graphic created by the National Weather Service in Anchorage, AK showing other places around southern Alaska that broke all-time records on Thursday:
King Salmon: Observed high: 89°. Previous record: 88° (June 27th, 1953).
Kenai: Observed high: 89°. Previous record: 87° (June 26th, 1953).
Gulkana: Observed high: 88°. Previous record: 86° (1956).
This dome of high pressure and heat wave is forecast to peak this weekend and last through the middle of the month. The Climate Prediction Center’s outlook (below) calls for the abnormal warm trend to stretch through the next 6-10 days. High temperatures for Anchorage are set to top out in 80s for the next several days before the it is set to subside late next week.
To learn more about other past historic weather and science events from around the world, be sure to click here!
©2019 Meteorologist Joey Marino