All Weather News

Scorching Heat In Alaska Over the Weekend

11 May 2020, 9:09 am

While the eastern half of the lower 48 was generally freezing on Mother’s Day weekend, one area was soaking up the sun and warmth: Alaska.

The Last Frontier enjoyed (presumably) record warmth over the weekend, including an 82-degree reading in the interior Alaskan city of Fairbanks on Sunday. On Saturday, a slew of records were also shattered in the Alaskan panhandle, including the Alaskan state capital of Juneau.

Yes: that means Fairbanks hit 82 degrees before Boston, New York City or Chicago have done so so far this spring.

The Alaskan cities of Kotzebue (57 degrees) and Utqiagvik (37 degrees) set new daily records on Sunday, completing a weekend of exceptional warmth across the interior regions of the 49th state.

A big ridge of high pressure anchored over Alaska and western Canada boosted temperatures into the 70s and 80s across much of Alaska this weekend. The same ridge also led to an exceptionally hot day in the northwestern continental United States, including Seattle, Washington, which also set a daily record back on Sunday as well.


That two other big impacts this weekend, first: rapid snowmelt led to flood advisories across the Alaskan interior. Fairbanks hit its first 60, 70 and 80-degree days of the year all within one week, meaning the snow melted extraordinarily quickly.

That could lead to stream, river and creek flooding.

The second impact is it led to Fairbanks’ annual ‘greenup’, or the dramatic and sudden appearance of leaves on aspen and birch trees that takes place as a result of Alaska’s short winter. The National Weather Service office in Fairbanks said on Sunday that it had officially taken place this past weekend, right on schedule.

Temperatures are expected to stay warm across the area through Monday, before temperature slide back closer to seasonal averages by Tuesday.

And for more on Utqiagvik’s last sunset of the spring season, click here.

About the author
Chris doesn't remember a time when that he didn't love the weather. When he was five years old, he wrote his first words, "Partly cloudy", in Ms. Benn's kindergarten class. According to Chris, it's been a love affair ever since, from teaching himself how to read forecast models at age 12, to landing at WeatherNation. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, he started to go after his lifelong drea... Load Morem of becoming a meteorologist by predicting whether or not there would be snow days - turning him into Greenwich High School's "defacto weatherman". He turned that snow day-predicting website into a front page story a local newspaper, which in turn earned him a look at WABC-TV in New York, where Chris did the weather live on-air at the age of 16. He attended Boston University, where he continued being a "weather nerd", performing weather updates on the campus radio and TV stations, and doing the daily forecasts for the student newspaper. Following his studies at BU, Chris worked at Mile High Sports and ESPN Denver for four years while pursuing his certification in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. Chris is a huge sports fan, rooting for the Rockies, Nuggets, Broncos, Avalanche and UConn. He frequently find links between sports and weather, including an investigative analysis he did in 2013, finding trends between Peyton Manning's play and game time temperature (he doesn't like the cold). Chris also enjoys running, playing any sport, socializing and periodically overeating at all-you-can-eat buffets.

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