High temperatures are setting records in Southeast Alaska this week.
The National Weather Service reports new all-time high temperatures for the month of March in Sitka and Petersburg, where the thermometer hit 62 degrees on Monday, March 18.
“We’ve hit just numerous record high temperatures for the day but also we’re breaking a lot of the monthly March records,” said Kimberly Vaughan, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Juneau. “So it’s the warmest March temperature we’ve ever seen.”
In Petersburg, the previous high for March was 61 degrees set in 1994. Sitka’s previous high was 61 degrees in March of 1998. Sitka topped that record on Tuesday, hitting 67 degrees.
All-time high March temperatures were also set Tuesday in Ketchikan, hitting 65 degrees, Yakutat at 60 degrees, Juneau airport at 59 degrees and Haines at 56 degrees. And Klawock hit 70 degrees Tuesday, the first in the state to hit the 70 degree mark this year.
“That broke the previous daily record that was 55 degrees set back in 2015,” Vaughan said. “That did not break the monthly record which is actually 71 degrees which was set back on March 31st in 2016. The exciting thing about that is Klawock was the warmest spot in Alaska yesterday (Tuesday).”
Wednesday was also the official start of spring with the equinox occurring at 5:58 p.m.