The warmer-than-normal temperatures experienced in June continued into July in the Kenai Fjords area. Temperatures above 70 degrees F were recorded at the Seward airport on eight days, including one day, July 18th, when the temperature climbed to 81 degrees F, setting a new maximum temperature for the day. The warm temperatures in July 2013 contrasted starkly with the cool July of 2012 when the average monthly temperature was 6.2 degrees F less than this year. Precipitation was also notable in July. As recorded at the Seward airport, more than two times the July average precipitation was received during the first seven days of the month. 2.77 inches, (nearly 100% of the 30-year average for the month), were received in a single day, July 1st. The last three weeks of the month were dry with only .03 inches of precipitation recorded on two separate days during the final week of the month.
Above normal temperatures were reported throughout Kenai Fjords National Park. The Harding Icefield, Pedersen Lagoon, and McArthur Pass Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) and the Exit Glacier SNOTEL each recorded maximum high average temperatures for the month for their relatively short, yet expanding, periods of record (9, 2, 6, and 2 years, respectively). Temperatures at the Harding Icefield RAWS, located at 4,200 feet, are most notable. The average temperature for the month was 5.6 degrees F above the July average for the eight year period of record for that station.
As recorded at the Seward airport, total precipitation for the month was 6.28 inches (224% of normal), 3.48 inches above the 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month. The monthly average temperature for July was 58.96 degrees F; 2.96 degrees F above the 30-year average. In general, winds were relatively calm throughout the month with maximum average wind speeds of 12.8 mph recorded on July 20th.
Also of note:
- The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s three month weather outlook (August-September-October) favors normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the Kenai Fjords area.
- Researchers at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research report that sea levels could rise by 2.3 meters for each degree Celsius that global temperatures increase.
- The Obama administration recently released a Climate Action Plan, proposing new policies to address climate change.
- The journal Nature Geoscience published research on the effects of climate change and increased carbon dioxide on nitrogen-fixing ocean microbes. Results suggest that changing CO2 levels may lead to species selection of these organisms, thereby limiting biodiversity.
- The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a new study indicating that the boreal forests of the Arctic have been burning at higher rates in the past few decades than they have in, at least, the past 10,000 years.
- Researchers at Colorado State University report that the wetlands produced when beavers dam water are effective at storing carbon.
- The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society published the 2012 State of the Climate report, providing annual updates on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and more.
- 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 July 2013