Incoming rain to chase out sun

Over the weekend, Katie Lee spent 7 hours on Bishop Beach in Nikiski with her children because the weather was so nice. For sunscreen, they used mud — the byproduct of wrestling matches along the water. Then they washed off in streams.

“When it’s like this, you take advantage of it — water fights, sprinkler under the trampoline,” Lee, of Nikiski, said.

Since Saturday, a high pressure ridge has sat above Southcentral Alaska, washing the Kenai Peninsula in sun and warm temperatures. Saturday’s high was 59, Sunday’s 53, Monday’s 69, Tuesday’s 73, Wednesday’s 67 and Thursday’s 54.

“I think it’s fabulous,” Lee said.

But, as the ridge dissipates and slides slowly east, Peninsula residents can expect cloud accumulation, and, in the afternoon heat, rain, said Dave Stricklen, hydro meteorological technician for the weather service.

“Nothing major,” Stricklen said. “No major rain expected right away.”

But the warm weather window is slipping, he said, and it will likely close this weekend. He expects isolated showers through the weekend and, on Tuesday, a greater chance of rain.

“Seems like Memorial Day weekend’s always good for some reason; seems like that’s how I remember it,” Stricklen said. He said he rode his motorcycle to Seward on Saturday because the weather was so nice.

May, typically, is the warmest month with dryer weather, he said. It’s not unusual, he said.

May’s average temperature is 53, and the month averages .89 inches of rain.

After May, precipitation rates increase. June’s average is 1.21 inches of rain, July 1.89 inches, August 2.61 inches and September 3.33 inches, he said.

“As you (saw) last year in September, we got hammered with moisture. … How I look at it is May is our better part of summer,” he said.

Soldotna resident Allen Auxier said he has been enjoying the better part of the summer so far. He has taken his Harley Davidson out of the garage and done chores around the house, he said.

In fact, he said, this weather is part of the reason he lives in Alaska.

“This is picture book Alaska. How could I not live here?” Auxier said.

Dan Schwartz can be reached at daniel.schwartz@peninsulaclarion.com.

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