Weather Blog

''Baked Alaska'': 90-96° temps shatter all-time records

''Baked Alaska'': 90-96° temps shatter all-time records
A sweltering day in Valdez, Alaska when the high temperature hit 90 degrees on June 17, 2013 -- breaking their all-time record high temperature. (Photo courtesy: NOAA)

Many people head to Alaska to visit the snow-capped mountains and awe-inspiring glaciers.

Monday, sitting on a glacier might not have been a bad idea.

A major ridge of high pressure brought intense heat to south-central Alaska with four towns experiencing heat never before felt in their record-keeping history.

* Talkeetna hit 96 degrees (Old record: 91, set three dates, most recently... Sunday)
* Cordova hit 90 (Old record: 89, set July 16, 1995)
* Valdez also hit 90 in the city (Old record: 87 set on back-to-back days of June 25-26 in 1953)
* Seward hit 88 degrees, breaking the old record of 87 set on July 4, 1999.

Remember air conditioning is in extreme short supply there, if not non-existent.

Some other notes:

* Talkeetna broke their all-time record high on back-to-back days -- 96 Monday after 91 on Sunday. It was still 93 degrees at 9 p.m. on Monday -- just 1 degree cooler than Las Vegas was at 9 p.m. their time. Amazing. For Seattle to break their all-time record by that percentage, it would have to hit 109 and Portland would hit 113.
* Seward was 88 degrees in the middle afternoon but a seabreeze blew in and the temperature dropped from 88 to 73 in an hour.
* It was hot, but not quite all-time-record hot, just to the south where Skagway hit 86 and Juneau hit 82 with a very rare thunderstorm on the heels of an 85 degree day Sunday.
* Normal highs across the region are in the low 60s.

The heat in Seward really got me thinking because that is a popular port on Alaska cruises. So I wondered --- could some people currently on an Alaskan cruise be experiencing hotter weather than those on, say, a Caribbean Cruise?

Turns out, yes indeed!

Highs Monday:

Kingston, Jamaica: 91
Miami, Florida: 90
Seward, Alaska: 88

Phillipsburg, St. Maarten: 88
San Juan, Puerto Rico: 87
Skagway, Alaska: 86
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands: 86
Saint John's, Antigua: 84
Juneau, Alaska: 82
Cozumel, Mexico: 81

Bet those outdoor pools are getting way more of a workout than expected on the Alaska cruise ships!