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Graphic: National Weather Service, Anchorage via Twitter
On Independence Day, Anchorage, Alaska hit its highest temperature in recorded history — 90 degrees — by five degrees and beat the previous high for the 4th of July by more than twenty degrees, as records were broken all around the state. However, other cities in Alaska had hit 90 degrees before, but these are rare events, but more records could fall according to Accuweather because Alaska currently sits under a “heat dome” that will last into this week.
Why This Matters: It is unusual for this kind of heat to hit the coast in Alaska, but warmer ocean temperatures are likely a culprit for both the record warmth and the unusual weather pattern. This is really bad news for firefighters who are working south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula battling fires (some of which are fast-moving) that are caused by the extremely dry conditions and heat, and even a smoke advisory for the Kenai with smoke making its way toward Anchorage. According to NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins, “Breaking an all-time record by this much is pretty unheard of in the climate community.” Climate scientists in Alaska believe this will be much more commonplace in the future, due to climate change, which is not causing the heat wave per se but making it much worse.
Many Alaska Heat Records Could Be Broken.
Meteorologists expect more records to be broken during this heat wave for Alaska. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that at this time of year, Alaskans experience 19 hours of daylight — imagine 19 hours of the sun just beating against the windows and on homes built to store heat not disperse it.
Climate researchers explain the heat wave as caused by a ridge of high pressure sitting over Alaska now — “[a]ir is being pushed and squeezed into one location and you end up with a mass of air that weighs more and sinks….That sinking motion keeps it sunny because it prevents clouds from forming, and it actually pushes warm temperatures down to the surface.”
Hurricane Delta provided a knockout second punch to the Southwest Louisiana coastline, coming ashore within 20 miles of Hurricane Laura’s path, leaving more than 200,000 customers still without power late yesterday (at its peak the number was 700,000).
Why This Matters: Delta was the 25th named storm, the 10th to make landfall in the U.S. this year, and storm season is winding down but it is not over.
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer The Copernicus Climate Change Service announced that last month was the warmest September on record for the United States and Europe, surpassing the record set a year ago. They also found that Northern Siberia, Western Australia, the Middle East, and parts of South America had hotter-than-average Septembers. According to […]
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