UTQIAGVIK, Alaska (AP) — The temperature in Alaska’s northernmost city of Utqiagvik reached 20 degrees below zero on Wednesday, a record low for April 29 and the first record low since 2007.
“It’s also the latest in the season with a low of -20F or lower,” Rick Thoman said in a post on Twitter. Thoman is a climatologist with the International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks. The previous record was a low of 24 degrees below zero on April 28, 1964.
“Of course, the record low is really just one day,” Thoman said. “For April as a whole, this was the sixth warmest April in the last century at Utqiagvik.”
Utqiagvik has also set or tied record high temperatures as well.
Thoman told the Alaska Energy Desk that “112 daily record highs have been set or tied.”
The most recent occurred on March 24, when a high of 22 degrees beat the previous record of 21 set in 2019, he said.
Utqiagvik is not the only one seeing this trend.
Sea ice plays a huge role in the fluctuations of temperatures, and with lower sea ice in the Arctic, record lows are harder to come by, opening up the Arctic to absorb sunlight and warmth, prolonging the warmer months and leading to a series of records high, KTVA-TV reported.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted a higher chance of warmer-than-normal temperatures for Utqiagvik during the month of May.