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Date: 8/19/2019

Title: Baked Alaska

During the month of August Alaska's average temperature in July was 58.1 degrees. That's 5.4 degrees F above average and 0.8 degrees higher than the previous warmest month of July 2004. There is good reason why Alaska was so warm this summer (relative to normal). You can blame the warmer than normal waters in the North Pacific.

The graphic below shows sea surface temperatures across the globe. Notice the warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the North Pacific (orange/yellow). A very similar situation occurred in the warm year of 2004. The warmer waters have aided in making temperatures a little warmer and have also encouraged high pressure to build.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, record cold occurred in Alaska in 2012. As you can see in the sea surface temperature map below, Alaska was surrounded by cooler than average sea surface temperatures in 2012.

The lesson here, is that fluctuating sea surface temperatures (which are normal) can have a big impact on our weather and climate.