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A warmer, dryer Alaska this summer

Warm and dry was the weather story this August across Alaska. Temperatures in Southeast averaged about a degree warmer than normal, while temperatures in the northwest were a balmy five degrees or more above average. In what is normally one of the wettest months of the year for many locations in state, rainfall fell short of normal almost everywhere, especially along the southern coast. Only a few locations scattered across the Interior saw rainfall totals that were slightly above average. Wildfire activity was below average for the summer of 2007, with less than 400,000 acres burned. Almost 500 fires were reported and these were about evenly split between lightning and human ignition.

August capped what was one of the nicest summers, weather-wise, in recent Fairbanks history. Aside from a few days of all-day rain, Fairbanks residents experienced the fifth warmest August on record, with sunny days, and a deficit of precipitation. The average high for the month was 71 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low was 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Both the average high, and the low were about 4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The high for the month was 82 degrees, and set a new record high for the 17th. The monthly low, 40 degrees, occurred Aug. 31. Rainfall was less than normal for the month at 1.52 inches, and mostly fell during the first half of the month. This is a negative departure of about two-tenths of an inch.

Warm weather prevailed in Big Delta for the month of August, along with a slight deficit in rainfall. Temperatures averaged about 3 degrees Fahrenheit above average, with a mean temperature for the month of 58.6 degrees. The average high and low were 64.8 degrees and 46.1 degrees, respectively. Both, the average high and low temperatures, were above average for August. The temperature reached a high of 80 degrees Aug. 17. The low for the month, 40 degrees, occurred Aug. 26. Rainfall totaled 1.81 inches, which is a few tenths of an inch less than normal. The highest daily rainfall total occurred on the 6th, with 0.78 of an inch. There were 21 rainy days during the month.

Anchorage had a mild and dry August this year. High temperatures averaged 66 degrees Fahrenheit and lows averaged 51 degrees Fahrenheit. Both were above average for this time of year. In addition, the mean temperature for the month, 58.5 degrees, was 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal. The high for the month, 78 degrees, set a record for Aug. 13. The low for the month, 43 degrees Fahrenheit, occurred Aug. 28.  Precipitation was relatively light for August at 2.09 inches, a negative departure of 0.84 of an inch. The highest one-day total precipitation was 0.52 of an inch on Aug. 15.

The weather was quite warm in Barrow this August, and most significantly during the second week of the month when temperatures went into the 60’s. The average high temperature for the month was 51 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lows averaged 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Both the high and low average temperatures were several degrees above average for August. The mean monthly temperature was 6.1 degrees above average at 44.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature for the month was 67 degrees on Aug. 10. The low for the month, 30 degrees, occurred Aug. 8. Precipitation came in the form of rain, and totaled 0.37 of an inch. This was more than half an inch below normal for August. Wind speed averaged about 10 mph for the month, with a maximum gust of 36 mph out of the east on the 19th.

Nome tied three daily high temperatures during August in what was a warm and dry month. Aug. 17 saw 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while 70 degrees was recorded on Aug. 18 and the 26th. All of these temperatures tied record highs for their respective dates. However, the high for the month was 71 degrees, and occurred on the 19th. Incidentally, it was not a record for that date. The monthly low was 35 degrees, experienced Aug. 30. The average high was 61 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low for the month was 48 degrees. The mean monthly temperature was a balmy 54.4 degrees, a positive departure of almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation came mostly during the first half of the month, and totaled two inches of rain. This is more than one inch below average for August.

Following an abundance of rain in July, Juneau had a dry August, with only 2.35 inches of precipitation at the airport. This total is about three inches less than normal for August, and was enough to claim the seventh driest August on record. Temperatures averaged 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal for the month, with a mean monthly temperature of 56.5 degrees. The daily temperature was greatest near mid-August when the high and low for the month occurred: 78 degrees on Aug. 13, and 37 degrees on Aug. 28. Average high and low temperatures during August were 65 degrees and 48 degrees, respectively. Both of these temperatures were warmer than normal.

Dry conditions prevailed in Ketchikan this August, with a rainfall total of 6.05 inches. This rainfall total marks a little more than a three-inch deficit in rainfall.  Most of the rain fell during the last half of the month, with a one-day high total of 1.81 inches on Aug. 28. Temperatures averaged near normal, with a mean monthly temperature of 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high was 66 degrees. The average low was 52 degrees . The high for the month, 78 degrees, occurred Aug. 15. The low for the month, 43 degrees, occurred Aug. 9.

King Salmon had a warmer than normal August. The average temperature for the month was 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit above normal at 56.8 degrees. The low for the month, 38 degrees, occurred Aug. 8, and tied the record low temperature for that date. The high for the month, 78 degrees, was reported Aug. 12, while the high of 67 degrees on Aug. 30 tied the record high for that date. The highs averaged 66 degrees and the lows averaged 47 degrees during the month. The average low for the month was close to normal, but the average high was about 4 degrees warmer than average. Precipitation was slightly below average for August at 1.6 inches, occurring on 13 days during the month.

This information consists of preliminary climatological data that was compiled at the Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.  For more information on weather and climatology, contact the center at 474-7885 or visit the center web site at Please report any errors to

[Read more at Alaska Climate Research Center]

| Posted 09.13.07 at 5:01 am

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