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A hot start to 2014 for Anchorage weather

Craig Medred
Warm weather this January is melting snow and creating dangerous, icy conditions across southcentral Alaska. This photo showing a puddle of standing water was taken last year, on Jan. 14, 2013. Loren Holmes photo

Alaska's largest city is off to a hot start in the new year. Temperatures along the Anchorage Hillside pushed into the upper 40s on Tuesday, with some locations threatening 50 on Tuesday as yet another warm gush of tropical Pacific Ocean air rushed north across the Gulf of Alaska.

It's been this way much of January. The National Weather Service reports the average high for the month so far is only a degree below freezing at 31. That's 8 degrees warmer than the long-term norm.

The average low is even more out of whack. Anchorage usually averages 11 degrees for the low in January. Not this year. The average low two-thirds of the way through the month is 23.3 -- three-tenths of a degree warmer than the average high over the long-term.

And it looks like things could stay this way for a while. The short-term forecast calls for temperatures in the 30s and 40s through the weekend.

The long-term forecast discussion says "there are some hints of this active and warm pattern breaking down next week, but nothing worth latching onto at this point." That might be good news if not for the rain that has come with the warm temperatures to turn much of the city into a skating rink.

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com