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National weather: Hotter in Alaska than in Key West?!

Anchorage, Alaska, set a new all-time record high on July 4 as a heat wave intensified over southern Alaska and continued through the weekend.

A high of 90 degrees was recorded at Anchorage International Airport for the first time ever last Thursday, crushing the previous all-time record of 85 degrees set over 50 years ago, on June 14, 1969.

Merrill Field, east of downtown Anchorage, also reached 90 degrees for the first time in records dating to 1943. According to Anchorage resident and climatologist Dr. Brian Brettschneider, all of the city’s weather reporting stations tied or set their all-time record highs on July 4.

It was hotter in Anchorage on July 4 than both Key West, Florida, and Little Rock, Arkansas.

All-time records were also set July 4 in King Salmon – a village about 285 miles southwest of Anchorage – and Kenai Municipal Airport – about 65 miles southwest of Anchorage – both soaring to 89 degrees. Palmer tied its all-time record from May 27, 2011, according to the National Weather Service.

As you might imagine, in a city where the average July 4 high is only 65 degrees, this record heat sent folks in Anchorage flocking to area beaches, to the mountains and lining up for refreshments.

Sunday was the second-hottest day of this heat wave in Anchorage with a high temperature of 85 degrees. It was also the fifth-consecutive day with a high temperature 80 degrees or hotter in the city.

Only once since 1953 has Anchorage experienced as many as four 80-degree days in a single year (in 2015). Through Sunday, Anchorage had seen six days this year with temperatures 80 degrees or hotter.

Forecast: Heat Eases Up

The strong dome of high pressure aloft responsible for the heat wave will begin to break down by midweek.

Temperatures will remain much above average on Monday, but will then steadily decrease throughout the week ahead.

Editor’s Note: This story was written by The Weather Company.

Stephanie Weaver

Stephanie Weaver is a weather anchor and reporter at News 4 Tucson.

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