It’s beginning to look a lot like August in the Upper Valley. Temperatures have cooled, and the rain has returned. This summer has been unusually hot all over the state, and the Valley is no exception. Talkeetna’s new all-time high of ninety-six degrees on June 18th made national news, and fell just a few degrees short of the highest temperature ever recorded in Alaska. In addition to the scorching all-time high, the rest of the summer has also been very warm.
This year, the weather station at the Talkeetna State Airport recorded forty-nine days over seventy degrees, which is more than the last two years combined. Fifteen days saw temperatures over eighty, and three days topped ninety. As a point of comparison, the average number of days over eighty in Fairbanks is eleven. There was also a twenty-two day stretch between June 6th and June 27th where the mercury topped out over seventy every day, the same number as the total days over seventy last year. Talkeetna is also falling short on rainfall. On average, the area receives seven-point-two-eight inches of rain by mid-August. As of August 12th, the measured rainfall was one-point-eight-three inches.
Fairbanks and Anchorage both broke temperature records as well. Anchorage broke the old record of thirteen consecutive days above seventy at the end of July, and Fairbanks set a new record for total number of days above eighty degrees. The previous record was twenty-nine.