Anchorage “Record” Was Not Actually A Record!

By Paul Homewood



While I was away last week, the BBC came out with this story of record temperatures in Anchorage:



The US state of Alaska, part of which lies inside the Arctic Circle, is sweltering under a heatwave, with record temperatures recorded in several areas, including its largest city.

Temperatures reached 90F (32C) in Anchorage on Thursday, shattering the city’s previous record of 85F.


The report clearly implied global warming as the cause, with several references to climate change links throughout the article.

As I pointed out at the time, the all-time record temperature for Alaska was set as long ago as 1915, when an incredible 100F was measured at Fort Yukon.

This story follows the usual BBC recipe for Arctic heatwaves:

  • Record temperatures = global warming
  • Hot weather is unprecedented in the Arctic. Most people would believe that temperatures of 90F simply never used to occur in the Arctic, it just sounds so unimaginable.

Unfortunately for the BBC, it turns out that the Anchorage temperature is not even a record!

I have now had time to check through the NOAA data files, and have discovered that back in June 1931, the temperature actually reached 92C at Anchorage:






Monthly weather records for Alaska only began to be published in 1917, but according to the CLIMOD2 system, maintained by Cornell University and using NOAA data, the temperature went even higher in 1915, reaching 100F:




Either way, it is clear from the above graph, which plots the highest temperature each year, that summer days are not getting hotter in Anchorage.

There is a gap in the record for Anchorage, but the data further north at Fort Yukon tells a similar story:



The highest temperature since 2008, was 33.9C (93F) last year. But this figure was exceeded on several occasions in both 1915 and 1955, and also equalled in 1900.


The heatwave in 1915, which brought temperatures of 100F to both Fort Yukon and Anchorage was not a brief fluke, but a monster. At Fort Yukon temperatures exceeded 90F from June 26th until July 2nd.

Temperatures stayed above 80F for 18 days in succession. No heatwave since in Alaska has remotely approached the one of 1915.




July 14, 2019 at 10:24AM

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