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Warm Alaska weather could last another week

Posted: January 22, 2014 - 12:02am

ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s unseasonably warm temperatures are affecting at least one business.

Alyeska Ski Resort announced on its website Tuesday that slopes would not be available to skiers and snowboarders because of temperature predicted in the lower 40s with possible rain or severe weather, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Alaska’s stretch of warm weather, which began Jan. 14, may be around at least another week, according to the National Weather Service.

“This is getting almost near unprecedented,” said Christian Cassell, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

Temperatures reached 46 degrees Friday in Anchorage. The normal high is 23.

The average temperature so far in 2014 has exceeded the normal average by 10 degrees, according to the weather service. Over the first 19 days, the average high temperature was nearly 31 degrees.

That’s still cooler than 1949, the warmest January on record, when the average high temperature was 38 degrees.

A high pressure system over western North America is being credited for Alaska’s melting snow and rain, plus California’s dry, windy conditions.

“We’re getting southerly flow from deep down into the Pacific, near the subtropics, and we’re pretty much just stuck in this pattern for the foreseeable future,” Cassell said.

The National Weather Service forecasts highs in the mid-30s to lower 40s through Sunday in Anchorage. Rain and snow could fall Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fairbanks temperatures Monday reached the upper 20s. The norm is zero to 20 below, said weather service forecaster Carey Freeman.

The average temperature this month for the interior Alaska community is about five degrees above normal, Freeman said. Forecasters predict highs the between 15 and 25 degrees through Wednesday and said the temperature could reach 30 on Thursday.

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