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Now don't laugh, you people! This is NEWS for us.  




Thursday marks 31st 80-degree day of summer in Fairbanks Print Create a hardcopy of this page Font Size: Default font size Larger font size

Sam Harrel/News-Miner

Record breaking day


McKayla Darby, 12, left, splashes her friends Maya Blackweasel, 13, middle, and Jaycie Bessette, 13, as they keep cool in the Chena River on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, at the Peger Road river access. While the summer of 2013 broke the record for the most 80-degree days in a summer on Thursday, a number that will likely be extended with the National Weather Service forecasting high temperatures in the low 80s through the weekend.



Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 12:03 am | Updated: 8:19 am, Fri Aug 2, 2013.

Tim Mowry / tmowry@newsminer.com | 1 comment

FAIRBANKS — You won’t hear Genice Jones complaining about the record-breaking heat in Fairbanks this summer, and not just because she owns an ice-making company that’s profited from the hot weather.

As someone who was born and raised in Fairbanks, the 49-year-old Jones has endured too much cold to gripe about the heat.

“We definitely deserve it,” Jones, who owns Jones Ice Factory on South Cushman Street, said of the record warm weather she and other residents in Alaska’s second-largest city have enjoyed this summer.

As predicted, the temperature hit 80 degrees at Fairbanks International Airport on Thursday — the official high was 85 degrees — for the 31st day this summer, breaking the old record of 30 days in 1915, 1923 and most recently in 2004.

The fact that this summer’s heat wave followed what was the longest winter on record in Fairbanks was not lost on Jones.

“We had a hard winter last year,” she said, referring to what was the latest spring breakup in more than 100 years in Fairbanks. “Didn’t it snow on May 17?

“We’re trying to enjoy this as much as we can,” Jones said.

She’s not alone. Golf courses have been crowded, the beach at Chena Lake Recreation Area has been packed and the Chena River has had more traffic than Airport Way as a result of the hot, sunny weather.

“It’s been super busy,” said Ricky Borland at Chena Lake, which is home to the only beach in Fairbanks.

In June, more than 40,000 people visited the recreation area in North Pole and the bulk of those were beach goers, Borland said. During the first three weeks of July, visitation was around 26,000, he said.

“It kind of died off a little bit in July because of the smoke (from the Stuart Creek 2 Fire) but it’s been pretty consistent,” Borland said.

After a late start because of the long winter, golf courses have enjoyed a banner season with the nice weather.

“It’s been record attendance all summer since we opened up,” Howard Thies, co-owner of the Fairbanks Golf Course, said. “It’s been a great year.”

Larry Katkin, who rents canoes and kayaks at Alaska Outdoor Rentals and Guides on the Chena River at Peger Road, said the same thing.

“It’s been very good for business and the area around the dock has been packed,” Katkin said, just after opening up on Thursday.

The hot weather has been good for the ice-making business, too, Jones said.

“This has been one of the busiest summers I can remember in the 11 years since I’ve been doing it, without a doubt,” Jones, who inherited the family-run business from her father when he passed away, said.

The high of 85 degrees on Thursday also extended the number of days the high temperature at the airport has reached 85 or warmer this summer to 13. The previous record of 10 days was broken on July 14. The average number of days per summer the temperature reaches 85 degrees or warmer in Fairbanks is three.

While the summer of 2013 broke the record for the most 80-degree days in a summer on Thursday, a number that will likely be extended with the National Weather Service forecasting high temperatures in the low 80s through the weekend, it is not the warmest summer on record.

As of Thursday, the summer of 2013 ranked No. 4 on the list of warmest summers in Fairbanks, according to the average temperature from June 1 to July 31. The average temperature for that time period this summer was 65.5 degrees.

The warmest summer on record for those two months was 66.1 degrees in 1913, followed by 65.9 degrees in 1975 and 65.6 degrees in 2004.

The heat wave will have to continue in August if the summer of 2013 is going to surpass the summer of 2004. That year, the same summer in which more than 6 1/2 million acres burned in Alaska as a result of wildfires, the average temperature in August was 7 degrees above normal and there were 10 days on which the temperature at the airport hit 80 degrees or higher.

 The chances of that happening again are slim, said meteorologist Bob Fischer.

“A long run of 80-degree days in August is climatically improbable,” he said. “In most years we don’t have any 80-degree days  in August.”

The average number of 80-degree days in August is two, Fischer said.

Not everyone is enjoying the heat, however. Club pro Berni Stump at the North Star Golf Club on the Old Steese Highway said she has heard “a lot” of complaints from golfers about the warm weather.

“They’re complaining about the heat,” Stump said. “I think they’re forgetting what the winter was like.”

While Stump doesn’t mind the heat, a little rain would be appreciated, she said. Less than 1 1/2 inches of rain has fallen since June 1, which is more than 2 inches below normal. As of Thursday, this was the sixth-driest summer on record since 1904.

“We’re depleting our ponds from watering the greens, so it would really be nice for it to rain soon,” she said.


From Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Aug.2, 2013


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