Around Juneau

Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2000

July was wet, but there's been worse

JUNEAU -- The statistics show July was not the damp and dreary horror it seemed to be.

``We have had a lot worse, but July was worse than average,'' said forecaster Mike Richmond of the National Weather Service.

Reliable rainfall records have been kept at the Juneau Airport since 1943, Richmond said. They show the rainiest July occurred in 1997, with 10.3 inches. July 2000 was a mere 6.65 inches -- although that was 2.5 inches above normal.

The first half of the month was fairly dry, but, as of the 17th, the skies opened up, with measurable rain on each day to month's close. July 23 and 24 had 2.36 inches of rain in 48 hours.

A total of 32.16 inches of rain fell at the airport since Jan. 1, which is 7.09 inches above normal, according to the monthly climatological report.

More rain often falls downtown and in Douglas than at the airport. KTOO is now taking rain measurements downtown, and ``even with a few missing days,'' measured 6.87 inches for the month; the complete measurement was ``probably 8 inches or more,'' Richmond said.

Juneau's summer has been cool as well as wet. ``Our warmest temperature at the airport this year was only 73; last year we had a few days in the 80s -- but we had a warmer winter, too,'' Richmond said.

The peak wind on top of the Federal building during July was 30 miles per hour on the Fourth. Fog and clouds settled in, with air relatively still, leading to the use of fog horns by cruise ships in Gastineau Channel.

Flags at half-staff for Joe McGill

JUNEAU -- Former State Rep. Joe McGill, who represented Bristol Bay from 1965 to 1976, is dead at age 76. McGill died Sunday night at his home following a lengthy illness.

Gov. Tony Knowles ordered state flags flown at half-staff through Wednesday.

McGill, who was born Jan. 13, 1924, in Masury, Ohio, joined the Marine Corps at the outbreak of World War II and served in the South Pacific. He was awarded two purple hearts for wounds suffered in combat on Guadalcanal and in New Guinea.

McGill came to Alaska in 1946 and made Dillingham his home. He joined the local school board and was elected mayor three times. He succeeded Jay Hammond as Bristol Bay's representative to the Alaska Legislature and served 12 years. During his term, he worked to protect rights of resident commercial fishermen and helped establish a co-op to allow local fishermen to participate in the developing herring fishery.

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