Fairbanks has record high 91 in heat wave

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FAIRBANKS - The late summer heat wave spreading across Alaska has pushed the temperature into the 90s in Fairbanks for only the fifth time since 1904.

The high temperature of 91 recorded Sunday at the Fairbanks airport easily beat the previous mark of 86 degrees for the same day in 1926.

The record temperature was a result of "a very warm air mass" that moved into the region. Temperatures all across the eastern Interior, from Northway to Bettles, were at or near record temperatures.

"It's a pretty impressive event," meteorologist Rick Thoman at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks told the Fairbanks News-Miner.

It was the second time in two summers that the temperature hit the 90-degree mark at the Fairbanks airport. The temperature hit 91 degrees on July 8 last year, the first time it reached that high in 15 years.

The warm air Sunday was accompanied by high winds from the Pacific Ocean, also known as a chinook, that produced gusts up to 30 mph at the airport.

In addition to Fairbanks, other high temperature records were set at Eielson Air Force Base at 90, Fort Greely/Delta Junction at 86, Northway at 85 and Bettles at 83, the weather service reported.

Temperatures are expected to cool down today but it will still be much warmer than normal, Thoman said.

"It's not going to be as hot but we'll still be pushing 80," he said.

The record high for Monday is 83 degrees while the average high temperature for this date is 67 degrees.

With a high temperature of 80 degrees Saturday and 91 on Sunday, there have now been 14 days this summer when the high temperature hit 80 or higher at the airport, including six in August.

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