Record-smashing heat has scorched Alaska over the past few days, and even worse heat is in store for the week ahead.

On Saturday, downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, hit 83 degrees, breaking a record that had stood for 110 years.

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Alaska heat wave fuels huge wildfires. Picture via Twitter

India and Europe aren’t the only parts of the world that’s been roasting and burning of late. So is Alaska.

Record-smashing heat has scorched Alaska over the past few days, and even worse heat is in store for the week ahead.

On Saturday, downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, hit 83 degrees, breaking a record that had stood for 110 years.

The heat has also exacerbated a wildfire near Anchorage that’s brought extremely smoky skies to the city. Late Sunday, people walked through midtown Anchorage covering their faces with their shirts, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Smoke from the blaze has been covering the Anchorage area since early Thursday, AccuWeather said.

Persons with respiratory problems may have difficulty breathing when outside,” the National Weather Service warned in a “dense smoke advisory” issued for the eastern Kenai Peninsula, not far from Anchorage.

The blaze, known as the Swan Lake fire, was 106 square miles in size and 17% contained as of Sunday night.

Unprecedented hot temperatures

Saturday was only the fifth day since 1952 that Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks were all 81 degrees or warmer, according to Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider. 

The temperature in Anchorage on Sunday soared to 82 degrees, the city’s highest reading in three years, the weather service said.

People were advised by the weather service to “be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water – don’t wait until you are thirsty!

In central Alaska, residents of Fairbanks had their own wildfire to deal with: Emergency officials issued evacuation warnings Sunday to some residents there as the Shovel Creek wildfire burned nearby.

Without air-conditioning, temperatures in homes skyrocketed to levels not usually found in Alaska: “With fans running and the doors/windows open, (I) was able to get the house temperature below 75 degrees F for the first time in days,” Brettschneider said Sunday.

Ocean flooding?

Along the state’s northern coast, melting sea ice is the main worry because of extremely warm ocean temperatures. Though not tied into this specific heat wave in southern Alaska, unusual springtime heat along the north coast melted sea ice along northern Alaska. The ice disappeared far earlier than normal this spring, alarming coastal residents who rely on wildlife and fish.

The early melting has been “crazy,” said Janet Mitchell of Kivalina. 

Rick Thoman, a climatologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, posted on social media last week that the northern Bering and southern Chukchi seas are “baking.”

Sea surface temperatures last week there were as high as 9 degrees above the 1981-2010 average.

The last five years have produced the warmest sea-surface temperatures on record in the region, contributing to record low sea-ice levels.

Next heat wave ahead even worse

Meanwhile, in southern Alaska, the next heat wave will be worse than the one over the weekend:

It’s forecast to be stronger and hotter than the one we just had,” Patrick Doll, a meteorologist with the weather service in Anchorage, told the Daily News. “Think of what we’ve been experiencing and tack on 2-4 degrees.

Brettschneider tweeted that “we may approach all-time records in places.” The state’s all-time record high temperature of 100 degrees – which is not forecast to be be broken – was set in Fort Yukon in June 1915.

Alaska and Hawaii are the only two states where the state’s all-time high is “only” 100 degrees. 

After India followed Europe and now Alaska, USA. Where and when will those heat waves stop?

[USA Today, Reuters, Earther]

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