"Hot in Alaska" very hot

2019  #1  Fire on the Copper.jpg

Hottest summer ever in Alaska, by far, as far as I can recall. With the hot comes stuff not so good, "fire" which means "smoke". We did a little Alaska touring in June so I didn't get out to my summer abode in the Wrangell Mountains until about two weeks ago. We are a tinder box in the Wrangell's but no big fires close by yet. Here is a shot of one that just broke out a little over a week ago. They are going to let this one burn until snow flies. It is only about 60 miles as the crow flies from my place but fortunately on the west side of the Wrangell Range and I'm on the southeast side. Also the prevailing winds near the Copper River, where this fire is close to, are usually pretty stiff out of the south so it should move further away. One fire in the interior, is over 200,000 acres--the largest in the U.S. Right after the 4th we drove to Whittier and took that 5.5 hour 26 Glacier Cruise, I knew it was going to be good but it was better than that. Wife had never been in the northwest portion of Prince William Sound like I had so she really enjoyed it. If you get an opportunity to spend a day at Whittier, port for Princess, try to take this, they gear arrivals and departures for cruise ship schedules.

Tags: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

17 Answers

Still hot and very dry in Alaska. North of the Alaska Range though, over recent weeks we have had a lot of rain, remarkable and very strange weather patterns. For visitors, my guess is that by Friday one should have no problem on the Parks Highway getting to Talkeetna. Although we certainly could use a lot of precipitation in Southcentral Alaska. Been the hottest season ever, by far, as best as I can recall for Alaska and I was born and raised here. Getting close to September so it is starting to get chilly at night here in the Wrangells, so I fire up the wood stove in the morn. We have a nice cabin on Crystal Lake which is about two miles west of Willow near Mile 70 of the Parks Highway. I'm not there right now but in the Wrangell Mountains where we have another place (also a tinder box) but my wife is at the lake. She says there is no problem except for power outages from time to time. I have tried to encourage her to go back to our home in Anchorage for a while but she says no way, the smoke in Anchorage is a lot worse than at the lake. Ha. The ADNs is keeping a close watch on these events--for obvious reasons---here is the latest: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/mat-su/2019/08/20/as-crews-fight-destructive-susitna-valley-wildfire-evacuees-prepare-for-recovery/
Looks like Alaskans as well as visitors are going to have to get used to these changing weather patterns. "Instead of a once in a lifetime experience this might occur every few years". No rain of significance predicted. In fact winds may start up again in few days. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/weather/2019/08/21/a-summer-of-weather-extremes-set-up-alaska-for-devastating-august-wildfires-scientists-say-its-likely-to-happen-again/

It has been a warm one this season!

Latest.--------- https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/weather/2019/08/23/this-summer-is-on-track-to-be-the-driest-on-record-for-southcentral-alaska/

Here in the Wrangell Mountains near McCarthy and the Kennicott River it is so dry that it makes me very nervous. My entire place could be gone in minutes, a little wind and a spark could turn everything into an inferno. I've got a pretty good sized wilderness spread too, 350 acres. I'm surrounded by white spruce, black spruce, quite a few aspens and cottonwoods with patches of birch. Makes one humble to realize how vulnerable we are.

We were there this past mid-June and it was seasonable - cool but wet - think we only wore shorts 1 day. Before that July 2012 and remember it was in the 80s which was hot for them.

Aw, "seasonable" and "cool and wet". Those were the days. "Southcentral Alaska has seen less than an inch of rainfall since June 1 and no measurable rain at all during August, said a climatologist from the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy." "This year’s already-unprecedented summer is on track to beat yet another record: becoming the driest ever recorded in Southcentral Alaska."

"The U.S. Drought Monitor has classified part of the region — including Anchorage, the Susitna Valley and a portion of the northern Kenai Peninsula — as being in an “extreme drought” for the first time in the drought monitor’s 20-year history." "Extreme drought is the second-highest drought designation, underneath “exceptional drought,” which Alaska has never recorded. Most of the southern coastal swath of Alaska, from the Panhandle to the Aleutians, is experiencing drought to a lesser degree."

The U.S. rain forests, Tongass and Chugach, (the nation's largest and second largest, respectively,) along the southcentral coast and in Southeast Alaska (our panhandle) are being hammered.


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