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Juneau on track for a summer rainfall record

A tourist crosses South Franklin Street as a rain shower sends people scurrying for cover on Monday, August 14, 2017, in Juneau. (Erik Hill / ADN)

JUNEAU - The area encompassing Alaska’s capital city is on track to break summer rainfall records, a state weather expert said.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Cody Moore said that Juneau had already reached its summer rain average of 13 inches by July 26, The Juneau Empire reported Tuesday.

The last summer to break records was 2014, when Juneau had 14 inches of rainfall, Moore said.

Juneau is likely to break that high mark if the current weather pattern continues, Moore predicted. Over the weekend the precipitation in some areas of Southeast Alaska reached up to 3 inches.

"We've seen system after system after system with little breaks in between," Moore said. "It's not unusual to have this much rain, but it's been nearing record levels."

There was 10 inches of rain during last year’s extremely dry summer, Moore said.

The Juneau area has a number of microclimates, which result in weather that can be drastically different in areas that are just a few miles apart. Downtown Juneau and Douglas received substantially more rain over the weekend than the Mendenhall Valley, Moore said.

"Douglas got about three times as much rain as the airport did," he said.

The heavy rainfall has led to watches for river overflows and flooding. Officials were monitoring the Mendenhall River Monday for potentially dangerous water level rises, Moore said.

The National Weather Service is also keeping a watch on Suicide Basin, a glacial-dammed lake that fills at this time of year and eventually drains into Mendenhall Lake.

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