Warmer than normal temperatures and drier than normal precipitation made June a month to remember in Kenai Fjords National Park. Daily temperatures exceeded 70 degrees F on nine days and soared into the 80s on two days, with highs of 83 and 88 degrees F recorded on June 16th and 17th, respectively. New daily maximum temperatures were recorded on June 8th (71 degrees F), 16th (83 degrees F), and 17th (88 degree F). June 17th also set a new record high temperature for the period of record (1987-present) that the Seward airport weather station has been at its current location. However, those of you who were around in the 1960s may recall that on August 12, 1966 the Seward weather station recorded a high of 95 degrees F. In contrast to the recent warm temperatures, the lowest temperature of the month, 35 degrees F, recorded on June 5th, tied the record for the minimum daily temperature for that day.
As recorded at the Seward airport, total precipitation for the month was 1.02 inches (42% of normal), 1.4 inches below the 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month. The monthly average temperature for June was 55.7 degrees F; 3.5 degrees F above the 30-year average. The strongest wind gusts were recorded on June 18th and 29th at 29 mph. In general, winds were relatively calm throughout the month with maximum average wind speeds of 10.1 mph recorded on June 17th.
The official period of record for Seward weather, available at the Western Regional Climate Center (http://www.wrcc.dri.edu), began in 1949. Since that time, the actual station location and/or station instrumentation has changed three times. If you have historical photos of the previous Seward weather stations that you would be willing to share, please contact Deb Kurtz at Kenai Fjords National Park at 422-0544.
Also of note:
- The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s three month weather outlook (July-August-September) favors normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the Kenai Fjords area.
- Check out the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) website’s new Alaska Climate and Weather Highlights tool to get near real time information about notable weather and climate events in Alaska.
- If you are planning a trip around Alaska and you are concerned about wildfires, the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center provides current wildland fire information for the state.
- On October 1st the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Anchorage will reconfigure its marine zones for the coastal waters in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. This will involve renaming, renumbering and realigning several zones as well as adding eight new forecast zones. View these pending changes at theNWS website.
- Recent evidence indicates that warming temperatures in the Arctic are linked to an increase in diseasesin wildlife and human populations in northern latitudes.
- New research led by McGill University confirms that oceans are able to balance nitrogen on a global scale, but sheds concern over the amount of time needed to maintain balance given the rate of current climate change.
- NOAA climate services portal serves as a single point-of-entry for NOAA’s extensive climate information, data, products, services, and the climate science magazine ClimateWatch.
Read more to find out about the local climate for June 2013