Robert Kent enjoys his day off fishing for returning silver salmon in Gastineau Channel on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. Kent said, “Can’t help but enjoy this day. It’s absolutely amazing.” (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Robert Kent enjoys his day off fishing for returning silver salmon in Gastineau Channel on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. Kent said, “Can’t help but enjoy this day. It’s absolutely amazing.” (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Summer finishes as third-warmest in Juneau

July’s record-breaking heat wasn’t matched by June and August

Juneau’s summer was the third-warmest on record, according to figures compiled by the National Weather Service here.

Temperatures at Juneau International Airport, the city’s official measuring point, averaged 57.9 degrees in June, July and August, the three months of meteorological summer.

Only summer 2016 (58.3 degrees) and summer 2004 (59 degrees) were warmer. Five of the 10 warmest summers in Juneau have come in the past 14 years, and all of the top 10 have come since 1989. Reliable records have been kept at the airport since 1936.

June averaged a half-degree above normal, July was 4.3 degrees above normal (and the warmest month ever recorded in Juneau) and August finished 1.6 degrees above normal.

So far this year, Juneau has had 28 days with high temperatures at or above 70 degrees; the normal figure is 19. There have been six days with temperatures at or above 80; a normal year has two.

The highest temperature of Juneau’s summer came on July 4, when the thermometer reached 84 degrees. The highest reliable temperature recorded this year in Alaska was 94 degrees, seen in Hyder in July.

The warm weather has been frequently accompanied by clear skies. Through Monday, Juneau has had 32.11 inches of precipitation (rain and melted snow). That’s about an inch and a half below normal.

Elsewhere in Southeast Alaska, conditions have been proportionally drier. While Ketchikan has had 64.28 inches of precipitation — almost exactly twice that of Juneau — that’s less than 82 percent of normal for the First City.

Coupled with low snow last year, Ketchikan and much of southern Southeast is officially in a drought, with hydroelectric reservoirs running intermittently because there hasn’t been enough rainfall to keep them filled.

While summer has been warm across Southeast Alaska, the seasonal change is coming.

Temperatures dipped Monday morning to 39 degrees in the Mendenhall Valley, marking the first time temperatures there finished in the 30s since June 3.

Forecasts for the rest of the week call for sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s during the daytime, dipping to the mid-to-low 40s at night.

In the month to come, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate prediction center forecasts an equal chance of above-normal or below-normal temperatures and rainfall.

In an average September, Juneau sees 8.64 inches of rain, making this normally the rainiest month of the year here. Temperatures accelerate their slide downward from their peak in July, averaging a flat 50 degrees.

The one literal bright spot: While Fairbanks and Anchorage have more hours of daylight than Juneau at the start of the month, Juneau outpaces them by the time October begins.


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


More in News

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014.
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of March. 19

An otter sleeps on the ice near an open channel (Courtesy Photo / Jos Bakker)
On the Trails: Spring comes slowly

As I await more and bigger signs of spring, there have been good things to see along the trails.

State Sen. Bert Stedman, center, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, presides over a committee hearing Thursday. The committee on Monday approved an $8.4 million fast-track supplemental budget to address staff shortages in processing food stamps, public defenders and legal advocates for vulnerable residents. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Bill with funds to address food stamps backlog goes to governor

Legislature gives near-unanimous approval to hiring extra staff to fix months-long backlog

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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

Hoonah’s Masters Bracket team poses for a group photo on Saturday after being crowned this year’s champs for the M bracket in the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at JDHS. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Hoonah crowned Gold Medal Masters Bracket champs

Hoonah’s Albert Hinchman named MVP.

President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2023, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Recent moves by President Joe Biden to pressure TikTok over its Chinese ownership and approve oil drilling in an untapped area of Alaska are testing the loyalty of young voters, a group that’s been largely in his corner. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Biden’s moves on Willow, TikTok test young voters

A potential TikTok ban and the Alaska drilling could weigh down reelection bid.

Students dance their way toward exiting the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé gymnasium near the end of a performance held before a Gold Medal Basketball Tournament game between Juneau and Hydaburg. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Over $2,500 raised for Tlingit language and culture program during Gold Medal performance

A flurry of regionwide generosity generated the funds in a matter of minutes.

Legislative fiscal analysts Alexei Painter, right, and Conor Bell explain the state’s financial outlook during the next decade to the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Legislators eye oil and sales taxes due to fiscal woes

Bills to collect more from North Slope producers, enact new sales taxes get hearings next week.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office is seeking information about this man in relation to a Wednesday bank robbery in Anchorage, the agency announced Thursday afternoon. Anyone with information regarding the bank robbery can contact the FBI Anchorage Field Office at 907-276-4441 or tips.fbi.gov. Tips can be submitted anonymously.  (FBI)
FBI seeks info in Anchorage bank robbery

The robbery took place at 1:24 p.m. on Wednesday.

Most Read