7th straight 80-degree day sets record

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2004

Expect Juneau's record-setting hot spell to set more records today.

But don't expect 80-degree temperatures all summer, or perhaps even this weekend, Jim Truitt, senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Juneau said Thursday.

Thursday's official high at the airport was 84 degrees, breaking the record of 79 degrees set in 1953. It was the seventh consecutive day with highs exceeding 80.

Every previous day of the current streak hit at least 84. Each established a new daily record. Wednesday's high of 85 was revised from the 83-degree reading originally given to the Empire.

Reaching todays forecast high of 85 degrees would tie the record for the date and establish new records for sustained heat, Truitt said. No Juneau month and no Juneau summer season has ever had more than seven 80-degree highs.

According to weather service records, July 1951 set the record for most 80-degree days, with a three-day run beginning July 4 and a four-day run beginning July 9.

Truitt said the recent weather defines the term extraordinary event. Specifically, a high pressure system has been sitting over Southeast Alaska, keeping the clouds out as warm air comes in.

It looks like our first realistic chance of not hitting 80 will be Saturday, he said. You do have some moderating temperatures coming.

Temperatures people find in a forest, near the water or in an area with watered lawns, he explained, may be different from the official reading at the airport, where official readings have been taken since records began being kept in 1943.

Getting so much heat so early in the season doesnt mean the rest of the summer will be warmer than normal, Truitt added.

Its extremely difficult to extrapolate (weather trends) into the future, he said.

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