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It's Never Hit 70 in Alaska in March— Until Now

71 degrees, actually, thanks to a high-pressure air mass coming through
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2016 11:21 AM CDT
It's Never Hit 70 in Alaska in March— Until Now
In this Feb. 15, 2016, file photo, ice from Mendenhall Glacier spills alongside sediment and rocks, with Mendenhall Lake shown on the right in Juneau, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

(Newser) – Alaska has experienced some unusual natural phenomena lately—including a burping volcano and a desperate need for snow—and it just took another turn into some more weather-related weirdness. Per the Alaska Dispatch News, the mercury at an airport in Southeast Alaska registered at 71 degrees on Thursday, which University of Alaska Fairbanks climate scientist Brian Brettschneider says set a record high for temps in March, beating out a peak of 69 degrees set in March 1915. "The fact that it's March—it's pretty amazing," a National Weather Service meteorologist in Juneau says. "It's a big deal."

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What scientists say has brought on this thermometer-busting breach in Klawock, which KTVA notes is northwest of Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island, is a high-pressure ridge that Brettschneider tells the Dispatch News is "basically [like we] had a June or July air mass move in in March. If we had June or July sun, it would have been 80 degrees, but we didn't." Other towns have similarly recorded record highs, and the warm weather is, as of now, anticipated to continue through May. (Alaska also just had the weirdest murder plot in a while.)

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