From the Anchorage Daily News, a view into what the weather is like this spring at 61.22N -149.85W
After solstice today, it’s all downhill to winter
By BETH BRAGG
At 3:59 this afternoon, the sun will reach its northernmost point above the celestial equator and we’ll mark the official summer solstice. Many calendars note the solstice by calling it the first day of summer, but Alaskans know better. Today at 3:59 p.m., Alaska will make a U-turn and head straight toward winter as days start getting shorter.
Which is a shame, seeing how summer so far has been MIA.
We are deep in June and, as of Thursday, the temperature has yet to hit 70 degrees at the National Weather Service’s observation point near the airport, where daily highs and lows are recorded.
It hit 67 on Tuesday near the airport, the highest official reading in Anchorage since the year began.
We haven’t had to wait this long for a 70-degree day since 1993, when the mercury hit the 70s for the first time on June 19th.
Welcome to a record-breaker. Rah.
Could be worse, of course. Could be snowing. That happened in 1998, when solstice revelers spending the night atop Flattop celebrated in a freak snowstorm at 3,500 feet.
Snow or no snow, summer has been slow to arrive in Anchorage.
Beth Schlabaugh, president of the Alaska Master Gardeners Association’s Anchorage chapter, said lots of green things are off kilter because of summer’s delay.
“Definitely we’re seeing a much later season this year,” she said. “Everyone has talked to me about things being two to three weeks behind schedule.”
Roses have been late to break dormancy, she said. Irises and lilacs are only now showing up, and not everywhere. Seeds are slow to germinate.
“Just in my garden, the hostas are slow to come out of the ground,” Schlabaugh said. “Things are really late.”
On the upside, early bloomers like tulips are lasting longer, she said. And if you haven’t limed or thatched your lawn yet, the cool weather means you can do it now even at this late date and still reap the benefits.
The cool weather will be a blessing to runners who will spend Saturday morning running 26.2 miles in the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon.
“Probably the best weather is somewhere between 40 and 60 degrees,” said Will Kimball, a two-time winner of the marathon. “You want cool.”
Kimball is calling this “the summer of the cold breeze.”
“Often it looks pleasant,” he said, “but that breeze has got a cold nip to it.”
Some people think the cool is, well, cool.
“I love this weather,” said Sam Albanese, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Anchorage. “I’ve been up here 22 years now and as far as I’m concerned, 65 and cloudy is ideal. Seventy degrees and sunshine, and I feel like I’m down in Georgia.”
Albanese offers no promises for those aching for hot, sunny weather. It seemed like summer Tuesday and Wednesday — days that brought sunshine and warmth — but today and tomorrow should be cooler and maybe a bit cloudy.
The forecast for the weekend says it might hit 70 on Sunday — two days after the solstice, and two days closer to winter.