SALT LAKE CITY — The Alaska city of Anchorage experienced an all-time record in temperature on July 4.
A record-breaking heat wave has boiled the land of the midnight sun, and it shows no signs of slowing down this week.
Why?: There’s a high-pressure system moving through Alaska right now, which is sucking up the warm air from the south and blowing winds away from the state. When this happens, the breezes send cold air away from the state, leading to warmer temperatures, CNN reports.
Alaska’s capital city Juneau reported temperatures of 83 degrees on Saturday, which breaks a 110-year record for the state, according to USA Today.
Wildfires: In fact, the hot temperatures have been so bad that it’s added fuel to the wildfire burning near Anchorage. Over the weekend, smoke filled the air near Anchorage, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The Swan Lake fire has been burning since June 5. The fire has scorched 68,060 acres and remains 17% contained, according to the Daily News. Right now, 487 firefighters are working to extinguish the blaze.
Warnings: The National Weather Service said that there was a “dense smoky advisory” for the area. People who have respiratory issues may have difficulty being outside.
Another issue: “Along the state's northern coast, melting sea ice is the main worry because of extremely warm ocean temperatures,” according to USA Today. “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.”
Next up?: The forecast won’t get any cooler, at least not this week. Patrick Doll, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage, told the Daily News that temperatures will hang in the 80s throughout the week. “It’s forecast to be stronger and hotter than the one we just had,” Doll said. “Think of what we’ve been experiencing and tack on 2-4 degrees.”