Eunavae Smallwood, 9, follows her father, Wayne, and brothers, Landon, 11, and Lakai, 13, into Auke Lake on Monday, July 23, 2018. Wayne said, “We come every day, even if its raining. It just feels great.” (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Eunavae Smallwood, 9, follows her father, Wayne, and brothers, Landon, 11, and Lakai, 13, into Auke Lake on Monday, July 23, 2018. Wayne said, “We come every day, even if its raining. It just feels great.” (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

July 2018 is warmest month ever in Juneau

Month sees twice as many 80-degree days as a normal year altogether

It’s never been hotter.

According to measurements taken by the National Weather Service here, July 2018 was the warmest month ever recorded in Juneau. Instruments at Juneau International Airport, the city’s official measuring point, recorded an average July temperature of 61.2 degrees, making it the warmest July recorded in a record that dates back to 1936.

The previous record was 60.2 degrees, set in 1951. Three of the top five hottest Julys have come since 2009. A normal July averages 56.9 degrees.

July is Juneau’s hottest month, meaning any record-breaking warm July will also set the record for all other months..

According to the weather service measurements, July’s warmth wasn’t the result of a handful of warm days: It was the result of consistently high temperatures throughout the month.

There were 18 days with high temperatures above 70 degrees, and of those, four were above 80 degrees.

Over the past 50 years, Juneau has averaged two 80-degree days each year. July 2018 doubled that in a single month, including a pair of 84-degree days on July 4 and July 5 that are among the five hottest days on record, if ties are included.

The month’s warm and sunny weather came courtesy of a pressure ridge that formed in the Gulf of Alaska in the middle of the month. From July 19 through the end of the month, that ridge acted like a shield, diverting storms away from Southeast Alaska and keeping skies clear.

In addition to warmth, the conditions of the past month brought extraordinarily dry weather as well. With only 2.82 inches of rain, it was the city’s driest July since 2009 and the 13th driest overall.

The warm, dry weather wasn’t limited to Juneau: it stretched across Southeast Alaska. Ketchikan saw its second-warmest July on record, as did Skagway. Klawock, Sitka, Petersburg, Haines, Yakutat, and every other community in Southeast had temperatures well above normal.

While the sunshine and warmth brought people in droves to the region’s beaches and trails, it was the dryness that had the biggest effects.

Southern Southeast officially entered a drought during the month, and northern Southeast was rated “abnormally dry.”

In Ketchikan, the fire department issued a burn ban as a precaution against wildfires. On Prince of Wales Island, hydroelectric reservoirs are so low that electric power providers are using diesel backup generators.

Relief appears to be in the forecast as the new month begins. Wednesday was expected to be a day of transition as the blocking ridge moved eastward, allowing rain and cooler conditions to reach Southeast Alaska.

The forecast calls for clouds and a chance of drizzle on Thursday before full-fledged rain over the weekend and into next week.

That rainy, cool pattern is expected to last for at least a week and possibly longer.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Mauka Grunenberg looks at live oysters for sale on Aug. 29, 2022, at Sagaya City Market in Anchorage. The oysters came from a farm in Juneau. Oysters, blue mussels and sugar, bull and ribbon kelp are the main products of an Alaska mariculture industry that has expanded greatly in recent years. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska’s mariculture industry expands, with big production increases in recent years, report says

While Alaska’s mariculture industry is small by global standards, production of farmed… Continue reading

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (center) walks with Alaska Rep. Will Stapp, R-Fairbanks, and Alaska Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, into the Alaska House of Representatives chambers ahead of her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Peltola celebrates federal intervention in Albertsons, Kroger merger in legislative address

Congresswoman says wins for Alaska’s fisheries and state’s economy occurring through collaboration.

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, speaks in support of Senate concurrence on a version of an education bill passed by the Alaska House last week during a Senate floor discussion on Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Senate concurs on House education bill, Dunleavy is skeptical

Dunleavy schedules press conference Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage to discuss the legislation.

A photo by Ben Huff being exhibited as part of his presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the Alaska State Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Museum)
Here’s what’s happening for First Friday in March

Both the state and city museums are celebrating 20 years of artistic… Continue reading

Goose Creek Correctional Center is seen in fall. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Department of Corrections)
Alaska prison failed to provide adequate dental care to inmates, state investigator finds

Goose Creek Correctional Center has gone years without a hygienist, forcing patients to wait

Jirdes Winther Baxter chats with Wayne Bertholl during her 100th birthday celebration Saturday at the Juneau Yacht Club. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Jirdes Winther Baxter, last survivor of 1925 Nome serum run, celebrates 100th birthday in Juneau

Five generations of family, dozens of friends and a coalition of political leaders offer tributes.

The Safeway supermarket in Juneau, seen here Oct. 4, 2023, is among those in Alaska that might be sold if its parent company, Albertsons Companies Inc., merges with Kroger Co., the parent company of Fred Meyer. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
US sues to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons, saying it could push prices higher

Eight states, not including Alaska, join lawsuit against parent companies of Fred Meyer and Safeway.

Most Read