Warm days break Southeast records

Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Temperature records were broken around Southeast Alaska on Sunday and Monday as the mercury rose above 60 degrees in many areas, the National Weather Service reported Monday.

"What's causing this abnormally good weather is this large high pressure system that's built up over the area," said Brian Tassia, a hydrotechnician with the National Weather Service in Juneau.

Basically, Juneau is getting a taste of fall weather in continental Canada, Tassia said.

The rainy weather that usually plagues Southeast Alaska in the fall has shifted north temporarily, hitting Anchorage, Homer, Seward and Kodiak Island, Tassia said.

Though the 56-degree weather on Sunday was not even close to the record of 67 degrees for that day, temperatures at the Juneau Airport on Monday reached 62 degrees, three degrees higher than the record set in 1989, Tassia said.

The warm weather and clear skies gave locals a break from Saturday's downpour, which was also a record. Rainfall in Juneau Saturday totaled 2.07 inches, breaking the previous record of 1.29 inches set in 1968, said Michael Mitchell, a meteorologist with the weather service.

"It was a pretty heavy day," Mitchell said. "Anything over two inches is pretty significant around here."

Warm temperatures also broke records in Gustavus, Haines, Sitka, Wrangell, Klawock and Annette Island in the last two days, the National Weather Service reported.

Easterly winds are giving Juneau the same weather enjoyed by continental Canada, Tassia said. But Wednesday will probably bring the end of this warm, dry spell.

"Then we're progressively getting worse as we go back to the normal Juneau scenario of lows coming in and dumping rain," Tassia said.

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