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The Anchorage heat wave is over - for now

People and dogs were swarming to DeLong Lake hoping to stay cool in the record breaking heat on Friday, July 5, 2019. (Anne Raup / ADN)

Anchorage’s historic heat wave is done, at least for now.

It was a cool, overcast 62 degrees at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Wednesday evening.

Wednesday was the first time since June 25 the daily high has dipped below 70 degrees in Anchorage, according to data from the National Weather Service.

The 14-day heat wave is the second-longest recorded streak of daily highs above 70 degrees in Alaska’s biggest city.

In July and early August 2013, Anchorage had 17 days in a row when daily highs remained above 70.

The unusual thing about this summer’s heat wave was just how high the temperature climbed, meteorologists say.

Anchorage set an all-time heat record on July 4, when it was 90 degrees.

And in July, Anchorage has experienced an unprecedented run of six days in a row when temperatures topped out at 80 or above.

Don’t rue that purchase of a portable fan yet. You may want it again soon.

Forecasters with the Anchorage office of the National Weather Service say that higher-than-normal temperatures could return by the middle of next week, with another high-pressure system poised to settle over Southcentral Alaska.

Temperatures will be relatively mild through the weekend, in the high 60s or low 70s, with thundershowers expected in the mountains, according to Patrick Doll, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

That could spell trouble for wildfires raging around the state: Lightning strikes could torch parched forests, and no heavy rain is expected.

“To really help the wildfires we’d need a good soaking rain, like quarter-inch or half-inch,” Doll said. “That’s just not in the cards.”

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