Why is Anchorage especially warm for the last couple of months?

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Dear Tom,

I live in Anchorage and for the last couple of months it has been especially warm. What is going on?

Tracy Rogers,
Anchorage, Alaska

Dear Tracy,

July, 2019, was the warmest month ever, worldwide, since accurate temperature records have been kept (and that is since 1880, when adequate instrumental records became available). Using temperature departures from the 1951-1980 base period, much of North America was near normal, but elsewhere it was unusually hot.

Alaska and an area from northern Africa to central Europe were especially warm. Much of Spain and areas around Baffin Bay and the north coast of Alaska were more than nine degrees F warmer than the 1951-1980 base period. Anchorage was especially warm: June was the second mildest on record and July the warmest ever. In July, daily temperatures were 80 degrees or higher on nine days.

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