The entire world, including Alaska, saw the warmest July on record, says NOAA

ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) - NOAA says July land and ocean surface temperatures were the highest since global records began in 1880 at 1.71°F above the 20th-century average.

2016 still holds the record for the warmest year recorded.

The ocean was 1.51°F above the 20th-century average.

[Read NOAA’s Global Climate Report for July here]

Rick Thoman, Climate Specialist, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, says the high temperatures we’ve seen across Alaska follow a record warm spring.

Alaska Specific information:

  • Anchorage saw its first 90 degrees Fahrenheit day during on July 4th with inland temperatures reaching the mid 90's
  • July was the warmest month on record for Alaska
  • In addition to Alaska’s warmest month on record since 1925, Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Kotzebue, Kodiak, King Salmon, Anchorage, McGrath, and Yakutat each had their warmest month during July.
  • Ocean temperatures the highest in over 100 years.
  • Warm temps are having an impact on wildlife

Thoman also went on to say with the high temperatures came wildfires.

“More than 3,800 square miles in Alaska has burned since May, That’s about twice the area of Delaware,” Thoman said adding, “More than $150 million dollars has been spent so far on wildfire protection and suppression “

As KTUU previously reported, more than 2 million acres have burned as a result of wildfires.

So what do the high temperatures mean for our state?

Thoman says with the high temps, there can be “multi-species” dying in the Bering Strait region.

Long term, rapid changes in the northern Bering Sea ecosystem due to loss of spring sea ice and cold bottom water

NOAA’s monthly climate update also touched upon rain chances and drought conditions across the world.

For Alaska, much of state was also drier than average, particularly across the central regions, where drought has recently emerged, and across the panhandle, where severe to extreme drought persists.

Looking across the U.S. July was the first month in 2019 where dry conditions outpaced wet conditions. Besides the rain Hurricane Barry brought to Louisiana, much of the lower 48 stayed near or above average. The hardest hit with dry conditions in the southwest U.S.

You can view the full presentation HERE.

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