Alaska Digest

staff and Wire reports

Posted: Friday, July 02, 2004

June's hot, dry weather sets record

JUNEAU - With more than a solid week of high temperatures in the 80s, June went into local records books.

This June was warmer than any other in Juneau since the National Weather Service began keeping records here in 1943. Meteorologist Linnae Neyman said the average daily temperature of 58 degrees beat the old record daily average of 57.8 degree recorded in 1969.

According to weather service records, June was drier than normal, too. The 1.30 inches for the month was 3.36 inches below normal. Juneau had just finished its driest May on record.

The first half of the month was close to normal, Neyman said.

Weather service records show there were nine days with high temperatures that didn't get out of the 50s, ranging from 50 degrees on June 2 to 58 degrees on June 15.

The second half of the month was warmer and drier, though, with eight straight days of high temperatures above 80 degrees, beginning June 18. The first seven of those days set daily records. During the streak, three days recorded an average temperature of 68.

The weather service had not recorded a month - or even an entire summer season - with more than seven 80-degree days. July 1951, which had seven 80-degree days, was officially the warmest month in Juneau's history, recording an average daily temperature of 60.2 degrees.

Neyman said the 30-day outlook calls for a good chance of above-normal temperatures this July.

Restrictions on open fires lifted in Tongass

JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service has lifted its restrictions on open fires outside of campgrounds and smoking outside of vehicles and in cleared areas in the Tongass National Forest.

"We have received moisture across the forest and precipitation is forecast for the coming week. The Remote Automated Weather Station, or RAWS, data shows that our fire danger is currently moderate to low," said Charley Streuli, Tongass National Forest Staff Officer for Ecology, Forest and Fire Management, in a press release.

Streuli added conditions are still "relatively dry" in Southeast Alaska and that it will take more rainstorms to reduce fire ratings to "comfortably low."

Use of fireworks and operation of motorized equipment without a working spark arrestor are still prohibited on the Tongass National Forest under existing law.

Catalytic converters in vehicle exhaust systems can also spark wildfires, and forest officials urged everyone visiting the forest to be extremely careful and follow all applicable laws and regulations.

Anyone responsible for a wildfire may face both criminal and civil penalties. Fines may reach $5,000 per incident. Both the costs of putting the fire out and the value of resources destroyed may be collected under civil codes.

Police set July 4 traffic, parking restrictions

JUNEAU - With two holiday parades to mark Sunday's holiday, people will face parking restrictions in both downtown Juneau and Douglas, police report.

The Juneau parade will begin at 11 a.m., running south on Egan Drive from West Eighth Street to the traffic circle on South Franklin Street. It will turn left onto Franklin, right onto Front Street, left onto Main Street and right onto Egan. It will end at West Eighth.

Juneau police will close all of the streets to vehicles, at about 10:30 a.m. They will be marked for no parking.

The Douglas parade is set for 2 p.m. The parade will run from Third Street at H Street to St. Ann's Avenue at A Street. Third will be posted for no parking from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Both Second and Fourth streets will be posted for no parking. St. Ann's will be closed from Third to Summers streets for the Soapbox Derby after the parade. Parking will be prohibited

From 2 to 5 p.m., Second will be limited to one-way traffic, northbound, toward Juneau. Fourth Street will be limited to southbound traffic, toward Sandy Beach.

Parking will be available at the Douglas Boat Harbor's new lot.

Police report that any vehicles parked on the parade routes will be impounded at the owners' expense. Impounded vehicles will not be available to be picked up until Tuesday.

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