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Anchorage, Alaska, Shatters All-Time Heat Record, And It Could Get Hotter Still

Temperatures spiked to 90 degrees for the first time in the city's history.

Thermometers in Anchorage hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (about 32 degrees Celsius) for the first time on record this Thursday.

The National Weather Service said temperatures around the city were unusually high on the Fourth of July thanks to a massive heat dome that’s settled over Alaska, which has seen more than 30 days in a row of above average temperatures. Readings on Thursday shattered a 50-year-old temperature record set June 14, 1969, when the mercury hit 85 degrees.

The heat wave is expected to continue through July 8, and weather officials said thermometers could top out around 90 degrees again and again. 

The National Weather Service initially announced the record had been broken earlier in the day at the Anchorage International Airport, but temperatures climbed a degree higher around 5 p.m.

The wild weather has forced Anchorage to change several plans this year, including canceling the city’s Fourth of July fireworks display due to concerns about wildfires, The New York Times reported.

“This is unprecedented,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz told the outlet this week. “I tease people that Anchorage is the coolest city in the country — and climatically that is true — but right now we are seeing record heat.”

Alaska has borne the brunt of climate change as the planet warms, and is currently America’s fastest-warming state with temperatures rising two or three times faster than the lower 48, according to the National Climate Assessment.

Sea ice around the state is at dramatically low levels and ocean temperatures around the region are far above normal.

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