Climate Highlights and Other News

July 2018

Unusual July Snow at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

Flurries or mixed rain and snow at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) in July is not unusual. However, more than a dusting in July is much less common. On July 7, rain turned to snow in the evening and a couple inches of slushy snow accumulated on elevated surfaces. This is the greatest July snow since July 4, 1963, when 2.9" of snow fell. 

Near Record Warm July in Ketchikan    

The average temperature at Ketchikan in July was 63.4°F (17.4°C). This is almost six degrees warmer than normal and makes this the second warmest July of record. Only July 1958, with an average temperature of 63.8°F (17.7°C) was warmer. Climate observations have been made at Ketchikan, with only a few breaks, since 1910. 

Record Warm July at Juneau    

The average temperature during July at the Juneau Airport was 61.2°F (16.2°C). This is more than four degrees warmer than normal and easily the warmest July and warmest calendar month of record at the Juneau Airport. The previous warmest July was in 1951, when the average temperature was 60.2°F (15.7°C). The high temperature reached 70F or higher on 18 days, the most in any month since July 1951. 

Heavy Rain at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

Rainfall on the North Slope is typically quite light. However, during the overnight period from July 17 to 18 at Utqiaġvik (formally Barrow), more than half an inch of rain (0.55", 14mm) fell in just nine hours. This much rain in such a short period of time is expected only about once every five years. The 0.39" (9.9mm) that fell on July 18 was a new record for the date. 

Record High Temperatures across Southern Alaska    

Strong high pressure at the surface and aloft brought record high temperatures to a wide area in southern Alaska from Bristol Bay to the Panhandle on July 3. Daily record high temperatures set at long-term climate stations included Juneau Airport at 83°F (28°C), King Salmon 82°F (28°C) and on July 4, 71°F (22°C) at Homer.

June 2018

Heavy Early Summer Rain at McGrath    

McGrath was soaked with 1.01" (26mm) of rain on June 16. This was easily a record for the date and is only the eighth June day in the past 78 years to receive more than one inch of rain. 

Central Interior Wildfires    

The Zitziana River and nearby Mooseheart wildfires, south of Manley Hot Springs, were started by lightning during the first week June and grew significantly during the following week, when over 100 fire fighters were dispatched to protect property. Smoke from these fires blew into Fairbanks on the evening of June 14, reducing visibility to less than two miles for several hours. The fires were intermittently active through late July, and the Zitziana River Fire finished up burning just under 70,000 acres, the largest single wildfire of the 2018 season. 

Excessive Thunder in Fairbanks    

Fairbanks Airport had eight days in June with thunder. This is more than twice the long term average and the most June days with thunder since 2007. 

Record Warm July at Annette    

The average temperature in July at Annette was 63.9°F (17.7°C). This is easily the warmest July of record (previous warmest was 62.4°F (16.9°C)) in 1958 and just exceeds August 2016 (63.6°F (17.6°C) as the warmest calendar month of record. 

June Snow in the Interior    

Snow fell across some higher elevations of the Interior on the morning of June 12. Falling snow was reported from above 1600' in the hills north of Fairbanks and a light accumulation was noted on Murrphy Dome above 2500' MSL. In Denali National Park 4" (10cm) accumluaed along the road above 3500' MSL. 


Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy



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