Publication Date August 10, 2016

Alaska's Warmth So Far This Year Is Off the Charts

United States

Alaska has had the warmest start to any year dating to the 1920s, according to a government report released Monday.

The state's January-July 2016 mean temperature of 33.9 degrees Fahrenheit was 8.1 degrees above the long-term (1925-2000) average and smashed the previous record in 1981, according to data from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

Perhaps even more notable, this was the first time in 91 years of records the January-July mean temperature in our 49th state was above freezing.

"The warm sea-surface temperatures have been a large factor in the air temperatures," said Alaska-based climatologist Dr. Brian Brettschneider. "In the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, sea-surface temperatures are at 100-year highs."


"Only one day since December has been below (cooler) than average statewide," said Brettschneider, emphasizing perhaps the most stunning statistic of them all.


In mid July, Kuparuk set an all-time record high for any station near the Arctic coast, reaching 86 degrees. 

In fact, it's increasingly likely Alaska will top its record warm year, even if the rest of the year is cooler