• Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park

    Kenai Fjords

    National Park Alaska

July 2012 Weather Summary

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Date: August 19, 2012
Contact: Deb Kurtz, 907.422.0544

July 2012 Weather Summary

Damp and cool. That about sums up the weather recorded at the Seward airport last month as July continued the five-month pattern of cooler than normal monthly temperatures and ended the trend of below normal monthly precipitation. As recorded at the Seward airport, total precipitation for the month was 4.12 inches (147% of normal), 1.32 inches above the July average. The monthly average temperature was 52.6 degrees F; 3.4 degrees F below the 30-year July average (1981-2010), and sets the record for the coldest July in Seward since data was first collected at the Seward airport for this month in 1950.The years 2008 and 1978 hold the second and third coldest July records, respectively. The highest wind gusts of the month were recorded on July 11th when the Seward airport recorded maximum wind gusts of 30 mph. The fastest sustained winds of the month at the Seward airport were also recorded on this day with an average wind speed of 13.2 mph.

Earlier in the month the cool temperatures recorded at sea level in Kenai Fjords were accompanied by an unexpected dusting of mid-summer snow on the surrounding peaks. Data recorded at the Harding Icefield remote automated weather station (RAWS) confirm that below-freezing temperatures were recorded 10 out of the first 12 days of the month at the top of Exit Glacier (elevation 1320 m). The Harding Icefield RAWS reported a high of only 33 degrees F on July 5th. Despite the cool temperatures that characterized most of the month, a few balmy days were enjoyed at the base of Exit Glacier (elevation 117 m) where the NRCS SNOTEL station recorded maximum temperatures of 76 and 77 degrees F on July 27th and July 19th, respectively.

Also of note:

  • The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's three month weather outlook (August-September-October) predicts below normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the Kenai Fjords area.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the State of the Climate in 2011, an annual peer reviewed report compiled by 378 scientists from 48 countries.This report looks at climate patterns and extreme weather events that occurred in 2011 and analyzes global climate indicators.
  • The Guardian reports that 70% of the loss of sea ice in the Arctic is attributed to human-induced climate change.
  • To see how consistent Seward's July weather was compared to other stations around the state, check out the Alaska Climate Research Center's July Weather Summary
  • El Niño (warming of the Pacific Ocean) is expected to develop during August or September. To learn more about El Niño and La Niña and how these conditions impact our weather and climate,click here.
  • NOAA climate services portal serves as a single point-of-entry for NOAA's extensive climate information, data, products, services, and the climate science magazine ClimateWatch.

Read more to find out about the local climate for July 2012

Did You Know?

Hoary Marmot

The Hoary Marmot is the largest member of the ground squirrels. These guys hibernate half or more of their life away. They have very thick fur and a substantial fat layer that protects them from the cold. You are not as likely to see them on hot days as they hide in the shade to keep cool.