Fairbanks, AK Records Unprecedented 36 Days Of 80°+, Cool & Wet Over E Lower 48

Written by on August 9, 2013 in United States of America with 0 Comments

It’s been a summer that’s been plain HOT and unusually so throughout Alaska with record breaking heat kicking off in style back in mid June when parts of the Last Frontier warmed into the UPPER 90s. The town of Talkeetna smashed it’s all-time record high on June 17 with a temperature of 96°. Unofficially the temperature hit 98° in one place which if was verified would be a tie for the STATE all-time record. Talkeetna, Cordova and Valdez all set new all-time record highs. Interestingly, prior to the June heatwave, Alaska endured it’s 20th coolest May and 18th coolest March through May period.

The 2012-13 snow season was also Anchorage’s longest on record with the first snow falling September 29, 2012 and last was May 18, 2013. What a turn of fortune a month later when Anchorage went from a record cold maximum of 37 May 17 to a record high of 81 in mid-June.


Nearly two months on from the 80s and 90s of June and it’s still hot and very dry across much of the state thanks to dominant high pressure. Fairbanks has seen a record of at least 36 days above 80 this year while Anchorage has witnessed a record 15 straight days above 70.

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This summer is likely to be the state’s warmest on record but in stark contrast, it’s been unusually cool down across the Midwest and Eastern Lower 48. A powerful ridge pumping heat all the way from the Desert Southwest has meant the typically cool summer air has dove south down the central and eastern half of the continent. When all is said and done, while Alaska may endure it’s hottest summer on record, parts of the Southeastern US may experience a top 5 or top 10 COOL summer. There has been record rains as well as countless record cool highs and lows.

As long as the ridge continues pumping heat north, so the cooling fronts will continue dropping into the Midwest and drive all the way to the Southeast. These fronts are keeping this summer wet or very wet as well as cool. Since August 1, some parts of Missouri has seen nearly 20 inches of rain which is more than an entire summer’s worth and it’s all thanks to hot, humid air lifting north from the Gulf while cool Canadian air pushes south and with upper level lows tracking in between from west to east, the atmosphere has produced huge convective ‘blow-ups’ at night which drop huge amounts of rain over a 3-6 hour period. The last 3 nights have seen these mesoscale convective systems develop and cross the Central Plains.

Here are a selection of the higher rainfall totals witnessed over the Central Plains between August 1-8.

Source: AccuWeather

Source: AccuWeather

The below graphic shows well how the focus of heaviest, flooding rains shift east through the TN Valley into the Mid-Atlantic this weekend. This should help give Kansas, Missouri and northern Arkansas a chance to dry out some.

Source: AccuWeather

Source: AccuWeather

Today’s front is now pushing through the Big Cities and while bringing a decent soaking with local flooding, we may also see some localised severe weather with the main threat being damaging winds similar to what we saw over parts of New York yesterday. The front with all it’s showers and storms should push south of the Balt-DC area tomorrow and thus there should be more in the way of sun and warm with highs in the mid-80s in NYC, near 90 Philly down to DC.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

The Sunday surface and precip chart shows all the heavy precip just south of DC and looking beautiful to the north and throughout the Northeast.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Monday looks nice with warm sun and lower humidity but the next front with more showers and storms pushes in from the Great Lakes Tuesday but once that’s cleared through by Wednesday, temperatures drop back into the 70s in NYC, low 80s from Philly down to DC. Heavy rains look to continue across the saturated Southeast.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Atlanta, GA has seen 21 inches of rain this summer which is more than twice the normal and while wet, it’s been cool with only a handful of 90 degree days. Same for Birmingham and Charlotte and what a complete flip from last summer and recent years when drought has plagued the region.

Here’s the current drought situation across the US at this time.


Here’s the QPF rainfall over the next 7 days.


A chilly outlook for the 6-10 day over the Eastern US but note the warmth continues from the Desert Southwest up to Alaska.


8-14 day


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