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Alaskans get out sunscreen as heat wave drags on

Anchorage Daily News/AP

People with their dogs swarm to DeLong Lake hoping to stay cool in the record breaking heat in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday.

The Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaskans who routinely pack knit caps and fleece jackets in summer on Friday were swapping them for sunscreen and parasols amid a prolonged heat wave.

Residents of Anchorage and other south-central cities completed a fifth week of above-normal temperatures, including a record high 32.22 C on Thursday in the state’s largest city.

On Friday, as temperatures dipped just slightly, Anchorage resident Lucy Davidson sought relief with her grandchildren at a beach at Goose Lake. She said she picked up a portable air conditioner at a garage sale six years ago. It had not been used some summers, but it’s getting a workout lately.

“That thing has been a blessing,” Davidson said. “It stays on non-stop.”

The temperature Thursday in Anchorage hit 32.22 C at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, 3 degrees higher than the city’s previous recorded high of 29.44 C.

Three other Alaska locations, Kenai, Palmer and King Salmon, set or tied all-time high temperature records on Thursday.

A high pressure ridge over much of south-central Alaska is strengthening and responsible for the record temperatures, National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Clay said. Anchorage’s average high temperature for July 4 is 23.89 C, Clay said.

Temperatures have been in the lower 20s for all but one day since June 23, National Weather Service meteorologist Michelle McAuley said.

Anchorage experienced its wettest May ever but was warmer than normal every day in June, she said. The high pressure system is expected at least through Monday, she said.

Anchorage gardeners who can’t grow a tomato without a greenhouse are loving the high temperatures. Others are experiencing flashbacks to where they used to live.

“My home doesn’t have AC like most homes here in Anchorage, and it’s pretty miserable,” said Manny Acuna, who moved north nine years ago with the Air Force. “That’s a lot coming from me because I’m originally from Las Vegas.”Speech

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