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US climate experts say 2019 was record warm year in Alaska

Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 11:46 AM AKST
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Alaska experienced its warmest year on record, according to federal climate officials.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its U.S. Climate report said Alaska had a statewide average temperature of 32.2 degrees (0.11 Celsius). That was 6.2 degrees (4.4 Celsius) above the long-term average.

It also surpassed the previous record statewide average temperature of 31.9 (-0.06 Celsius), set in 2016, the agency said.

Four of the last six years in Alaska have been record warm years, NOAA said.

Ten cities experienced their warmest years ever, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Utqiagvik, Kotzebue, King Salmon, Bethel, Northway, McGrath, Kodiak and Cold Bay.

Alaska set the record despite a December that featured temperatures closer to average, NOAA said.

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information compiled the annual summary. Among the other highlights was rainfall in other states. The contiguous 48 states experienced the second wettest year on record with 34.78 inches (88.34 centimeters), just 0.18 inches (4.6 millimeters) less than the total for the wettest year set in 1973.

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