Weekend warm spell breaks temperature records throughout Southeast Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier as seen from near the West Glacier Trail on April 18, 2021. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

The sudden switch to spring weather brought temperatures in the low 60s to the low 70s throughout Southeast Alaska. Some communities broke old temperature records over the weekend and right into Monday.

Pete Boyd of the National Weather Service in Juneau said April was a wild weather month with longer than expected snowfall.

“Just getting these warm spells are not that rare,” Boyd said. “However, we normally get them a little bit earlier. We just happen to see a big flip.”

“So, this is definitely an unusual weather pattern that we’ve been seeing with such cold and snowy weather just before we get such a big warm-up,” he said.

Boyd said the warm-up was caused by a high-pressure system as warm winds in the mountains blew down into valleys.

It’s expected to be cooler throughout the panhandle Tuesday and Wednesday.

Juneau, Gustavus, Ketchikan, Sitka and Yakutat all set new record high temperatures on Monday. Ketchikan was the warmest at 67 degrees. Juneau’s 65 degrees on Monday broke last year’s record of 62.

Klawock was the first in the state to reach 75 degrees on Sunday while Thorne Bay topped out at 73. Ketchikan’s high temperature of 72 shattered the record of 64 degrees set back in 1934. Juneau peaked at 68.

On Saturday, Yakutat set a new record of 67 degrees. Juneau hit 70 for the first time this year and broke the old record of 60 set back in 1953.

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