Anchorage, Alaska, isn't the first city people tend to associate with sizzling temperatures—but it's been baking this week in its worst heat wave on record. The National Weather Service says it recorded a temperature of 89 degrees Fahrenheit at the city's airport Thursday, smashing the previous record of 85 degrees, set on June 14, 1969, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Last month was both the hottest and driest June on record in Anchorage, and the city had to cancel its annual Fourth of July fireworks because of the danger of igniting wildfires, the Hill reports. With more than 100 wildfires still uncontained across the state, the fire marshal's office issued a statewide ban on fireworks ahead of Independence Day.
The heat in Anchorage is the result of this "giant ridge of high pressure sitting right over us," National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Ludwig tells the Daily News. Brian Brettschneider, a climate researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, tells NBC that the record-breaking heat, which he describes as "the definition of unusual," could continue for days, making many Alaskans very uncomfortable. "Our houses are built to hold warmth in because we're a winter state, not a summer state," Brettschneider says. "We don't have central air conditioning, so we rely on it cooling off at night to get relief. But we also have 19 hours of daylight right now, so imagine 19 hours of the sun just beating against the windows." (Read more Anchorage stories.)