Anchorage sets high temperature record for July

Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Hot summer weather is setting records in Anchorage.

The high of 84 degrees Tuesday set a new mark for July 8, breaking an 84-year-old record. It also turned out to be the warmest day ever recorded in Anchorage for the month of July, topping the 83 degrees reached July 11, 1953, said Dave Vonderheide, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

Tuesday was the fourth warmest day in Anchorage's recorded weather history, although it shares that distinction with three other days, all in one June or another, Vonderheide said.

The hottest day ever recorded in Anchorage was June 25, 1953, when it hit 86 degrees.

Why did it get hot? High pressure over much of Southcentral forced air to sink and compress and heat up. Winds from the Talkeetna Mountains northeast of the city and from the Chugach Mountains east of the city also forced air to compress and warm as it flowed downslope.

Also, the angle of the sun over Anchorage at high noon was 51 degrees, just a degree off its zenith, bathing the area in solar energy.

Absent Tuesday was a sea breeze that usually cools things off.

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