Did you turn on the heat this summer? Pull out a heavy jacket? If you live in Anchorage, odds are you aren't alone.
July, a month during which Alaskans fire up the grill and head outside to fish, turned out to be the fourth coldest on record this year.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Alaska's largest city averaged 56.3 degrees for the month. That was only slightly warmer than 1971, the coldest July on record, which averaged 55.4 degrees. Typically, July is the hottest month of the year.
But this July saw just three days of 70 degrees or more, with a high of 73 on July 18. On three other days, the temperature dropped to 45, the coolest for the month.
While Anchorage dealt with chilly weather, the rest of the United States battled a heat wave. Extreme temperatures across the nation have decimated crops. Hot, dry weather in the Midwest will probably end up costing the U.S. food industry billions, CNN reports.
The National Climate Data Center found also found that worldwide temperatures were up. In fact, this July was the fourth warmest worldwide since records were first kept in 1880.
July’s cold spell is yet another blow for Anchorage residents hoping for respite from a long, hard winter. This winter the city broke the all-time snow record with more than 133 inches. That, mixed with cool summer weather, has left snow in the mountains surrounding Alaska’s largest city.
Alan Czajkowski, director for maintenance and operations with municipality of Anchorage said bulldozers have been going to different snow pile sites around the city to move the snow around in an effort to help it melt faster. He's doubtful the snow will be gone by the end of summer.
“But a warm spell for a couple weeks will make a heck of dent,” Czajkowski said.
Contact Suzanna Caldwell at suzanna(at)alaskadispatch.com