Summer of 2005
Most areas of Alaska experienced above normal temperatures for the summer of 2005. The average departure statewide, based on 20 first-order observing stations, was 2.0°F above normal, which historically ranks as 7th warmest on record. For St. Paul Island, it was the warmest summer on record with an average temperature of 51.1°F (a departure of 5.4°F), However, for Barrow, the summer of 2005 ranks as 18th warmest on record with an average temperature of 38.5°F (a departure of 0.5°F). The strong positive departures along the west coast can be largely attributed to warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Bering Sea. Dry conditions prevailed for the eastern and southern interior, southcentral, and for the Aleutians. Areas in Bristol Bay, southeast, and arctic coast experienced a wetter than normal summer this year. Mean summer temperature (Jun - Aug) and departure from normal (1971 - 2000).
Location
Mean (°F)
Departure from Normal (°F)
Barrow
38.5
0.5
Nome
51.8
1.6
Fairbanks
60.4
1.0
Anchorage
58.8
2.3
Juneau
56.5
1.0
King Salmon
55.8
2.0
Summer Temperature Departure (JJA) Summer Precipitation Departure (JJA)
Temperatures Statistics for Summer (1 Jun - 31 Aug, 2005) and for 1 Jul - 30 Sep, 2005.
Location Jun, Jul, Aug Statistics Jul, Aug, Sep Statistics
Climate Record Start
Average
(°F)
Departure
(°F)
Rank
Average
(°F)
Departure
(°F)
Rank
Anchorage
58.8
2.3
3
56.9
2.6
3 (tie)
1952
Annette
58.3
1.3
14
57.4
0.5
16
1941
Barrow
38.5
0.5
18
38.3
1.5
15
1901
Bethel
56.6
2.9
5
53.6
1.9
7
1923
Bettles
58.0
0.8
10
51.9
0.3
14
1951
Cold Bay
51.3
1.9
5
51.8
1.7
4
1950
Delta Junction
58.6
0.7
15
54.3
0.7
12
1941
Fairbanks
60.4
1.0
12
55.3
0.9
14
1948
Gulkana
56.0
1.6
9
52.6
1.5
8
1943
Homer
55.9
3.3
3
55.0
3.1
1 (tie)
1932
Juneau
56.5
1.0
5
55.0
0.8
10
1941
King Salmon
55.8
2.0
6
54.3
1.6
7
1917
Kodiak
55.3
2.5
5
54.5
1.7
10
1931
Kotzebue
53.4
2.9
4
52.4
2.9
3 (tie)
1897
McGrath
59.6
2.5
5
55.4
2.3
3
1941
Nome
51.8
1.6
4
50.2
1.5
9
1900
St Paul
51.1
5.4
1
50.9
4.2
1
1949
Talkeetna
60.0
3.4
3
56.7
3.1
3
1918
Valdez
54.1
0.2
11
53.4
1.4
4
1975
Yakutat
54.5
2.3
6
53.5
1.8
6
1917
Mean
2.0
7
1.8
7
LINKS

Six city monthly summaries
State-wide monthly summaries
Alaska Fire Service
Fire images
National Weather Service
It was another active fire season this year. By the end of the summer, just over 4.6 million acres burned and 624 fires were reported (295 human and 329 lightning), ranking 2005 the third highest for area burned since 1955. Although the number of fires started by humans and lightning are nearly equal, the amount of area burned from wildfires far exceeds human-caused fires (90% on average). Lightning strikes were also higher than average for the summer with about 100,000 strikes, which is fewer than last year, but over twice the normal total.

Preliminary data courtesy of the
National Weather Service.

Questions or comments?
Contact the Alaska Climate Research Center.

Posted: 18 October, 2005