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Alaska's top temp is 100 degrees, set back in 1915

Posted: June 27, 2013 - 11:04pm
Dan Bunten, 20, leaps off of the pedestrian bridge off of Second Avenue into the Chena River on Wednesday afternoon, June 26, 2013, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Bunten was floating down the river in inflatable rafts with friends when he decided to jump from the bridge to cool off. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Eric Engman)  ERIC ENGMAN
ERIC ENGMAN
Dan Bunten, 20, leaps off of the pedestrian bridge off of Second Avenue into the Chena River on Wednesday afternoon, June 26, 2013, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Bunten was floating down the river in inflatable rafts with friends when he decided to jump from the bridge to cool off. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Eric Engman)

FAIRBANKS — If you think this summer’s heat wave is hot, just be glad you weren’t around in 1915.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Alaska was 100 degrees on June 27, 1915, in Fort Yukon, according to official records of the National Weather Service. Records date back to 1904.

The highest reliable temperature in Alaska’s second-largest city was 96 degrees on June 15, 1969.

“There’s no reason to doubt that,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Thoman. “It was in the mid 90s at other Interior Alaska weather stations that day and there were thundershowers around.”

There is a recording of 99 degrees in Fairbanks on July 28, 1919, but weather officials doubt the accuracy of that reading since there were no other temperatures from nearby cities that high.

“That one is wrong,” Thoman said. “There was a nice heat wave at the end of July, but no other station in the Interior got above 89 during that time.” In this year’s heat wave, the highest temperature recorded has been 96 degrees in Talkeetna on June 17, but high and low records will surely be broken, Thoman said. “It’s just a matter of having the appropriate observers in the right places at the right time,” he said. “As long as we’ve got an observer in Chicken, there’s always a chance we can break (the record of) 80 below.”

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