Anchorage sets new record for latest high temp day – still waiting for 70

From the Anchorage Daily News, a view into what the weather is like this spring at 61.22N -149.85W

Days turn the corner toward darkness

After solstice today, it’s all downhill to winter


(06/20/08 00:39:20)

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.

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June 21, 2008 1:40 am

Those ignorant yokels apparently don’t follow GISTEMP. May was warmer than normal in Anchorage, and thats science so it must be right!

Pierre Gosselin
June 21, 2008 2:41 am

What are we to conclude from one maritime city having a cool spring?
This shouldn’t be surprising as we are now in the cool phase of the PDO.
On the other hand, look at the North Atlantic:
Now for something really compelling:

June 21, 2008 3:24 am

I’m taken by the expression “the official summer solstice”: does this imply that mere astronomy is not enough, that no solstice can be a solstice without the imprimatur of some arm of American government?

Gary Gulrud
June 21, 2008 3:34 am

Gosh, we’ve edged above 80 four times and I thought it was a cool year.

June 21, 2008 4:14 am

Yea, and warmer than usual in Seattle as well, despite what the local weather stations are reporting.

M White
June 21, 2008 4:29 am

This post reminded me of the Kapitan Khlebnikov
I’ve been looking but can find nothing on the ships progress through the Northwest Passage. What progress has it made????????

June 21, 2008 4:42 am

Back during the global cooling scare in the 1970s, one hypothesis was that an Ice Age could start with nothing more than a cool season where northern snow doesn’t melt. After flying across the country one spring, I concluded that where there were trees, especially conifers, the local albedo would not be kept high due to snow cover and became skeptical that forested areas would stay cold long after a snowy winter.
A new article at Science News says that trees are invading tundra areas and helping to sustain all the warming up there. Some data only goes up to 2005 (it, along with 1998 and 1933 have been accused of the warmest year of the century). Only one reference is later than 2005, but Science News tends to run stories with most content from recent discussions.
At any rate, add forestation (reforestation, actually) to the list of things that a good climate model needs to support. This may also help explain the increase in CO2 _after_ the climate warms.

June 21, 2008 5:02 am

Interesting average map. It also shows Seattle and all of Washington state warmer than usual. But people in Pullman complained about the late snow, and people in Seattle are complaining about the cold too!

Bruce Cobb
June 21, 2008 5:05 am

I have to admit, I prefer cooler weather too. I actually like snow (and here in NH we had plenty of it this past winter, nearly breaking the all-time record for Concord, kept since 1873).
I also like that the cooling climate has thrown a monkey wrench into the gears of the AGW monstrosity, though it manages to stumble and lurch crazily on, having switched its battle cry to man-made Climate Change. But another LIA concerns me.

Arthur Glass
June 21, 2008 5:58 am

Interesting how 1993 keeps popping up as an analogue; that was, of course, the year of the great flood in the Mississippi Valley, for one thing. Hopefully, the current situation out there will be much smaller in extension, if just as bad, or worse in some places.
I just hope that this analogue will not play out for the heart of summer here in the New York City region: the high temp reached 90 or above for 40 days in that summer from hell, including 8 days with readings above 100, and a tie for the all-time record high at Newark Airport–105–twice!
I have had a great affection for Alaska ever since I was stationed for 18 months in and around Fairbanks. I left on Jan 10, 1971, in the middle of one of the coldest winters ever recorded. Ten days after I left, a location called Prospect Creek recorded a low temp of -80, the record for the U.S. On the other hand, a few weeks before my arrival, Fairbanks recorded five consecutive days in June where the high temp was 90 or above. What’s 170 degrees F among friends?
I do note that as cool as Anchorage has been this spring, Fairbanks is actually 1.0 degrees above normal for June, and Barrow, on the Arctic, is +2.4. I would assume that bothe of these numbers fall within one standard deviation.

Arthur Glass
June 21, 2008 6:04 am

‘The high temperature…for forty days.’
That sounds more like Dallas than Newark, due to sloppy preposition usage. Make it ‘on forty days’, not 40 consecutive days.
But four consecutive days of over a hundred did happen in July of 1993.
Oh, these La Nina hangovers!

Mike Bryant
June 21, 2008 6:46 am

Looks like hansen’s stuff doesn’t match with the SST anomaly charts very well… The heat seems to be hiding itself, while GISS must make a concerted effort to hide the cold in less populated locales…

Pamela Gray
June 21, 2008 6:56 am

The current issue of the Wallowa County Chieftain reports that in the second week of June, Joseph’s weather station charted a tie with the coldest maximum day time temperature (42 degrees F) set back on June 3, 1908. The National Weather Service confirmed and reported it online in the “extreme” chart. It goes on to state that, “The average temperature for the first 12 days of the month was only 56.6 degrees, which compared unfavorably with May’s average of 59.4 degrees”.
I think that would lead me to confirm what I have been seeing here on a daily basis: We have a weather trend that is showing colder weather combined with a late Spring and Summer growing season. It remains to be seen if we will have an Indian Summer. If Fall comes early, we are in trouble with winter feed for cattle here. If Fall comes early with rain, we are in trouble with wheat harvest as well. We are set for a nail biter, that’s for sure!

Pamela Gray
June 21, 2008 7:08 am

However, though the rivers are still running high due to continued slow snow melt and rainstorms, my hook beckoned to two nice size rainbow trout yesterday. No lures or spinners and only a single sinker hooked low towards the hook. Worm bait. Cheap-ass pole and reel. Here is the secret for fishing in high fast water. If you have to use two sinkers, you are fishing where there are no fish. Read the river. Fish will be resting in pools when water is high, fast, and muddy. Find the pools and you find the fish. And they will be mighty hungry since food is scarce in fast muddy water. You won’t need lures and spinners. Worms pale out when in the water. Fish are geared to find these without sparkly stuff attached. And besides, you don’t need sparkly stuff in pools. The water will be clearer there anyway. Happy fishing. If you come to Wallowa County to fish, dress warm. See above.

Leon Brozyna
June 21, 2008 7:08 am

I just happened to be looking at the data for Fairbanks before I came to WUWT and saw that they’ve had plenty of 70+ days; one of the advantages of being far inland, away from the ocean’s cooling effect.
Of course, with the onset of the PDO, it’s not just Anchorage that’s chilling out. Heard plenty tales of the chill in Seattle. I’m sure some of the folks in Southern California would just love a taste of that PDO. This is a fine anecdote to illustrate the power of the PDO.
While it seems to me that the science is far from settled, why can’t a skeptic take a moment of comfort from such an anecdote, the way the AGW proponent trots out their agenda at every heat wave or other extreme weather event? Should the Atlantic also go chilly and get in synch with the PDO’s effects, things could then get most interesting for the Northern hemisphere.

June 21, 2008 7:29 am

At least in this part of the country, AR, not AK, temperatures generally continue to rise through July and into August, so it isn’t so far fetched to consider the summer solstice as the start of “summer.”
It isn’t that different in AK. Temperatures in Anchorage this year are just about “normal:”
Last year’s high of 78 on this date was well above normal. AK has had a run of unusually warm years of late, and things seem to be move back to normal. Maybe there will be enough snow this year for the Iditarod to run the usual route.

Retired Engineer
June 21, 2008 7:34 am

Friend at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks said they had a bunch of 60 below days this past winter. Now it’s hot.
He figures the thermostat is broken.

doug w
June 21, 2008 8:01 am

Something I noticed yesterday when I looked at the UAH gridded temperature map.
All the major grain growing regions of the world are below normal temperature. The northern great plains in the US and Canada, the Ukraine, the North China plain – all cooler than normal.
I’ve heard rumblings about a poor harvest in the corn belt of the US mid-west, but nothing from the grain growing regions. Perhaps its too early yet, or maybe not cool enough.

June 21, 2008 9:34 am

Anchorage Sets New Record…
Is Anchorage experiencing “global cooling”?
We haven’t had to wait this long for a 70-degree day since 1993, when the merc……

June 21, 2008 9:37 am

If Anthony will indulge an OT request that I’m also making at CA. IF there are any readers familiar with the following 4 New Zealand stations, I’d appreciate data and metadata. The four rural comparanda are:
id name long lat altitude start_raw
6020 50793615000 HOKITIKA AERO 170.98 -42.72 40 1894
6010 50793112000 WHENUAPAI 174.63 -36.78 27 1951
6009 50793012000 KAITAIA 173.27 -35.13 87 1961
6028 50793987000 CHATHAM ISLAN -176.57 -43.95 49 1881
Are there any New Zealand readers who can provide further details on these stations? I’ll ask over at Anthony’s as well.

Pierre Gosselin
June 21, 2008 10:31 am

“…why can’t a skeptic take a moment of comfort from such an anecdote, the way the AGW proponent trots out their agenda at every heat wave or other extreme weather event? ”
Good question.
The answer is because selectively picking and choosing anecdotes has nothing to do with scientific method. Selecting anecdotes is what you do if you don’t have the science on our side.
That’s all the AGW alarmists are left with, and we should not stoop to that level. Do people really think they can win a debate by using anecdotes? I believe it’s a good way to lose it.
Let’s focus on the trends, trends, trends.
REPLY: Single anecdotes, or even a handfull mean nothing. But I’ll point out we’ve had a volume of “cooler” anecdotes this year. – Anthony

doug w
June 21, 2008 10:42 am

Amazing what GISS can show by manipulating the base period.
Their 1200 km grid temp anomaly map that tty links in the first post shows what areas of the earth are warmer than one of the coldest periods of the 20th century (1951 to 1980).
Anthony and others have remarked on this before, but this deliberate cherry picking of base periods is dishonest at best and maybe even outright fraudulent if it is fully thought out.
Hansen may have credentials that allow him to be labeled as a scientist, but his activism as an environmentalist makes him the worst kind of propagandist, and clearly the wrong person to the custodian of climate data.
He, and all the other Gore “science” appointees from the 1990’s should have fired back in 2001. For this lack of foresight, I blame the Bush administration for incompetence.

June 21, 2008 11:53 am

This article is rather deceiving as Alaska has had not much of a cool month this June, but it certainly is not warm either.
Also, does anyone else on here know that the sun has gone 46 consecutive days and counting without a visible Solar Cycle 24 sunspot? But who cares right? The sun will only bring us down to 1980s levels temperature wise for 10 years or so and we will then still soar to Jurassic levels by 2100 anyway, and that includes Anchorage too. You’ll see. :).

June 21, 2008 11:54 am

Speaking of “local” records (or anecdotal evidence), the web counter says:

Blog Stats
* 2,005,112 hits

Awesome, dude.

Paul Wescott
June 21, 2008 11:57 am

Basil (07:29:33),
See for recent Alaska temperatures. I believe that they are not much adjusted (pre-GISS).
2007 was right at the 1977-2007 average and the short-term trend is down. The long-term trend is flat even though the First Order stations are all on airports, many of which have recently been further developed.

Pamela Gray
June 21, 2008 12:06 pm

Actually Pierre, data IS a series of anecdotes best collected under the same conditions in a random fashion, with a control group of data also collected under random conditions. It only becomes scientifically reportable (IE it is verified through repetition, and is reliable through constant calibration) data when analysis is applied.
So technically, reporting on one data point in a scientific study, even one that is published, is really just reporting on an anecdote. All data points are anecdotal until statistically analyzed as a collected mean.
I just checked the weather station. At 12:04 PM, it is 1.9 degrees colder than last year in Enterprise, Oregon. This anecdotal data point is in line with the statistically averaged anecdotal data showing cooler temperature trends compared to last year.

June 21, 2008 1:34 pm

Another anecdotal observation is that it is 75 degrees at 4:40 p.m. in NE Florida in late June.
I LOVE global warming. Bring me more summer days like this, please.

June 21, 2008 5:49 pm

Lurker here. I’m a Yank, but I’m living in NZ right now. What information do you guys need on the NZ weather stations? Travel is a little difficult right now, but I have access to a lot of Kiwis. I’ve also been to Hokitika, though not the airport.
REPLY: We’ll see if we can find a list with lat/lon that is more precise

June 21, 2008 10:55 pm

Some cold weather in the other hemisphere too – Peru to be precise.

Pierre Gosselin
June 22, 2008 6:10 am

“All data points are anecdotal until statistically analyzed as a collected mean.”
Precisely! Now you’re telling me what I’ve been preaching.
Again, singling out lone, fringe, fluke points from one side of a scatter diagram and trying to make a trend out of them is the kind of far-fetched “science” we’ve seen on the alarmist side, and it’s what I hope not to see on the skeptic side.
Does this “volume” of cool data indicate it’s getting cooler? Or that we’re looking harder to find and report them?
How many record lows and how many highs were set last year (globally)? And the years before? Has the ratio of record low/record high been getting bigger or smaller over the last years?
Is there a summary of record temps set avaiable for each year to check the record low / record high ratio?
Records will always be set. The question is how many were cold, and how many were hot?

Pierre Gosselin
June 22, 2008 6:36 am

Readers – The meaninglessness of anecdotes.
If someone came to me and said: “Last year twice as many record highs were reported than record lows”, I’d say: “So what! Big deal!” That doesn’t mean anything. But if you add the year before last year had had 6 times as many record highs than lows (i.e. the ratio of hot to cold records got smaller), then it means it’s actually trending cooler.
Finding a record low or high here or there in itself means nothing.
Take a representaive sampling of data at regular time intervals, compute, and plot, and voila! – you get something meaningful.
I like weather extreme reports! When I was a kid, I loved hearing the Mt. Washington report on WMTW TV every evening.
But I think it looks a little weak if we try to discern climate trends from yesterday’s weather. Anyway, I think this dead horse has been beaten enough.

Pierre Gosselin
June 22, 2008 9:03 am

Please do allow me to recommend an outstanding comment on one particular significant trend…in the UK!
” But we must have power, power to order all things as we will, for that good which only the Wise can see.” The power-corrupted Saruman of Many Colours declaiming in J. R. R. Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Fellowship of the Ring (1954, p. 272)]

anna v
June 22, 2008 9:43 am

It is interesting to watch the global temperature practically online:
From June 9 to June 18 the global at 3000 feet was a bit warmer than last year ( peak at 0 .4 F) on the 20th it is coming below again and is already 0.34 coler than 20th last year.
I guess if global temperature defeats AGW, they will project with force regional data.
Having seen the map provided by Pierre Gosselin ,
I can still not understand why there are no comparable maps of CO2 densities. They even have the coral reef bleaching danger maps, which must be CO2 related!! No CO2 that I can find except that July 2003 AIRS map.
Why? there must be something fishy here, glaringly not consistent with IPCC model predictions.
CO2 is like the Holy Spirit, pervading everything unseen.

anna v
June 22, 2008 10:33 am

Continuing on why there are no CO2 maps , I have found a hypothesis.
It is possible that all the CO2 from volcanic activity will show on these maps.
The AGW crowd claim that CO2 from volcanic activity is low, but I keep reading articles of new volcanoes found underwater every month or so. CO2 from these would show obviously on world maps. If on top the time series shows that the CO2 volcanic activity is increasing, there goes anthropogenic global warming.

anna v
June 22, 2008 11:35 am

CO2 continued:
Here is the July 2003 map:
Any volcano experts around?
The red spot in South America looks suspicious. Is it the Amazon forests burning or a volcano? Also the orange spots south east of Japan.

June 22, 2008 11:58 am

Pierre, I have a feeling part of the reason people like this article about Anchorage and the one about Peru is that every time any odd weather event occurs, you can bet money, you could bet your house, that some news article will blame it on global warming. In today’s paper, there was an editorial by Amy Goodman that made it very clear that the flooding in Iowa was due to global warming, and we had better stop looking for more oil and figure out how to drop emissions to zero if we don’t want to destroy the planet. So when there is a counter example to that sort of nonsense, I think people want to point it out.

Joe S
June 22, 2008 12:02 pm

I don’t mind those anecdotal reports at all. The cool reports sure make me wish I could afford a summer home in the north part of the US, though.
I’ll take trout fishing tips, also, anytime they come down the pike. Pamela, how ’bout a cricket on that hook to get some vibra-action (a technical term) going in that murky water? Would the Rainbows have any interest?
A recent catch:
click the image for the larger view

June 22, 2008 1:27 pm

Pierre Gosselin (06:36:00) :
OT: “I like weather extreme reports! When I was a kid, I loved hearing the Mt. Washington report on WMTW TV every evening.”
You probably haven’t heard that Marty has retired and that the transmitter is no longer manned fulltime. A bit of local color is no more.
Folks at the Weather Observatory do radio spots for some radio stations, but it just isn’t the same – no thick Maine accent, no cat walking across the script, no forced goofy smile at the end. Oh – you have to watch the last “Marty on the Mountain” at
However, extreme weather is forever, a better report than the MWO radio spots is at . Not the same, but I check it out during interesting weather down heyr.

June 22, 2008 5:00 pm

[…] Anchorage sets new record for latest high temp day – still waiting for 70 […]

June 23, 2008 11:38 am

In Northern California, the recent weather (the past few weeks) has been similar to what we normally experience in very late summer or early fall. It could be a blip … or not.

Pierre Gosselin
June 23, 2008 11:58 am

Ric Werme,

Jeff Alberts
June 23, 2008 2:13 pm

I suppose this means more of those incredibly annoying “tougher in Alaska” ads. 🙁

June 23, 2008 11:54 pm

Crossposted at CA:
Anthony/Steve: Is this the sort of metadata you need out of NZ? For example, at Hokitika:

Pamela Gray
June 24, 2008 8:16 am

Joe, I went out the very next day and caught a 15 plus inch trout in the same deep pool right near shore, with the same cheap ass pole, one sinker, and just a worm cut in half. The water was even murkier, higher, and faster. I would show it to you but I already ate it. I’m going out again today with my just graduated from college son. I’ll let him fish in the same hole first. But by God we will be taking turns.

July 12, 2008 5:19 am

[…] Related: Anchorage sets new record for latest high temp day – still waiting for 70 […]

July 13, 2008 2:17 pm

[…] Anchorage experiencing “global cooling”? We haven’t had to wait this long for a 70-degree day […]

July 27, 2008 9:34 am

[…] evidence that we may not see an ice-free arctic this summer. I had previously blogged on the lateness of a 70 degree plus day in Anchorage, and now it looks like this may be one of the coolest summers on record there. A friend of mine […]

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