Alaska Shatters Heat Records with Sweltering Day
ANCHORAGE, AK – The Last Frontier experienced an unprecedented thermal surge as temperatures soared, marking the hottest day ever recorded in Alaska. On July 4, 2019, the mercury hit a staggering 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, shattering the previous high of 85 degrees set in 1969.
Uncharted Territory for Alaskan Climate
The record-breaking temperature was part of a prolonged heatwave that gripped much of Southcentral Alaska, prompting concerns about wildfire risks and melting glaciers. Climate scientists point to this extreme event as a clear indicator of the shifting weather patterns associated with global warming. The anomalous heat has had significant impacts on local ecosystems, wildlife, and the daily lives of Alaskans.
Response to the Heatwave
Local authorities issued health warnings and opened cooling centers to help residents cope with the heat. The unusual weather also affected the state’s infrastructure, with reports of buckling roads and train track expansions. Alaskans, more accustomed to dealing with subzero temperatures, found themselves seeking relief in swimming holes and air-conditioned spaces.
Q: What is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Alaska?
A: The hottest temperature on record is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), observed in Anchorage on July 4, 2019.
Q: How does this heatwave relate to climate change?
A: Scientists see the extreme heat as consistent with the broader pattern of global warming, which is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of heatwaves.
Q: What are the effects of such high temperatures in Alaska?
A: The heat can lead to increased wildfire risks, glacial melt, infrastructure damage, and health concerns for residents unaccustomed to such conditions.
Heatwave: A prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity.
Global Warming: The long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system, largely due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels.
Mercury: A common term used to refer to the temperature, as mercury is the liquid used in traditional thermometers to measure heat.