Twenty-sixteen was the warmest year in Alaska since the National Weather Service began keeping records in the state more than a hundred years ago. Two weather-service climate specialists say that’s mainly because of extraordinarily warm ocean water, which in turn helped generate above-normal precipitation – especially in the Interior.
It’s a challenge for news media to keep up their reporting on climate change’s impact on the Arctic, because of the pace of change and scientists new findings on, for example, the melting of polar sea ice.
The weather forecast calls for more abnormally warm conditions across Alaska. National Weather Service Meteorologist Nick Schwartz, says the persistent balmy pattern is the result of a large ridge of high pressure that continues to ride along the west coast of the lower 48, all the way up into eastern Alaska.