Alaska News

February heat wave sets more Alaska temperature records

Alaska broke warm weather records again this week, while southern states braced for cold weather and the Eastern Seaboard was buried under more snow.

From the Arctic to the Interior and into Southeast Alaska, several regions in the state were warmer than the U.S. East Coast and South. In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the arrival of severe winter weather.

Meanwhile, Anchorage was experiencing much milder weather. On Monday, it was 37 degrees in Alaska's largest city, while New York was 28 degrees and Boston was 19.

The Interior was also experiencing weather -- and temperatures -- similar to locales much farther south.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District shut schools down Monday because of icy road conditions and freezing rain, while the University of Alaska Fairbanks canceled classes. Parts of Texas and Arkansas were also experiencing sleet and freezing rain, the Weather Channel reported.

Austin, Texas was 32 degrees Monday, while Fairbanks was only a bit colder at 30 degrees.

Temperatures above freezing -- along with rain and fog -- also forced a delay at the Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks.

The National Weather Service recorded a number of record-breaking high temperatures across the state Sunday, as noted in the agency's public statements:

Broken records

• Kodiak reached 45 degrees, a new record despite a previous unofficial record of 46 degrees recorded in 1944.
• Anchorage reached 47 degrees, beating the previous record of 45 degrees set in 1978.
• Ketchikan reached 49 degrees, also beating its record by 1 degree.
• Juneau reported 43 degrees, which beat its old record set in 2010 by 1 degree.
• Kotzebue reached a new maximum high at 37 degrees and a new daily minimum of 33 degrees. The old maximum temperature record was set more than 100 years ago, in 1903, at 31 degrees. The previous daily minimum was set in 1942 at 22 degrees.
• King Salmon broke a record set in 1997 when it reached 49 degrees Sunday. The previous record was 46 degrees.
• Bettles reached a new record high at 33 degrees, which broke its old record set in 1977 at 25 degrees.

Tied records

• McGrath tied its previous record, which was set in 1944, at 44 degrees.
• Nome tied a 75-year-old record at 35 degrees Sunday.

Megan Edge

Megan Edge is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Dispatch News.