Anchorage has set a record for the most number of days with temperatures of 70 degrees or higher in the month of June.
The previous record for 70-plus days in June was set in 1936, when 14 such days were recorded, according to the National Weather Service. That was surpassed on Monday, when the temperature topped 70 for the 15th time this month. Highs of 73 on Tuesday and 75 on Wednesday made the total 17 for this June.
The National Weather Service Office in Anchorage noted that the forecast for this weekend means more 70-degree days may occur before the end of the month, giving the city as many as 20 above-70 days in June.
The abundance of warm weather has led to an average temperature of 58.8 for the month as of Wednesday. The highest average for June, 59.1, was set in 1953, the same year that saw the highest temperature ever recorded in Anchorage, 86 on June 25.
Weather service meteorologist David Snider said he expected temperatures to cool to below-average levels Friday afternoon, warm a little Saturday afternoon and run close to average all day Sunday. Those temperatures, he said, "could place June 2013 in second place for hottest June on record and perhaps even tie the record from 1953."
In addition to being warm, the month has also been notably dry, with a total of 0.46 inches of rain. A typical June sees 0.82 inches of rain. In a departure from Anchorage's often drizzly summers, there has been no measurable precipitation since June 4, though traces -- less than 0.01 inch -- were recorded on June 7 and 13.
The longest run of days with no precipitation whatsoever began on Jan. 6, 1939, and lasted 47 days. The record for the most consecutive days with no precipitation except traces ran for 79 days, ending on March 24, 1950.
But such extended streaks of clear weather typically take place in the winter or early spring. "None of the top five dry periods happen in meteorological summer, June 1 to August 30," Snider said.
The longest dry spell to fall entirely during meteorological summer (as opposed to astronomical summer, which starts on summer solstice) lasted 24 days and ended on June 25, 1989.
Reach Mike Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4332.
By MIKE DUNHAM