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2012 June Monthly Report


Highlights

There were few daily precipitation records this June. The 8th was a wet day across the whole of the Southeast, with a new record set in Skagway of 0.23", 0.13" above the total from way back in 1910. Haines saw a record rainfall on the same day of 0.47", breaking the 1955 record of 0.34". Then on the 19th King Salmon received 0.72", 0.15" above the old record from 1955". In addition, Juneau had the wettest June on record. Rain fell on 28 days of the month for a total of 6.69". This is 3.45" above the normal, and tops the old 1996 record of 6.22". Despite all the rainfall, no new daily records were set at Juneau. Barrow finished its second snowiest winter on record, a record that stretches back to 1920. For the 2011-12 winter, Barrow totaled 76.1". The record is 77.4" from 2008-09, and the normal amount is just 47.6". Barrow's snowfall also beat Fairbanks, where only 65.0" fell for the winter.

Melting snowpack and heavy rains in Yukon Territory resulted in washouts and mudslides along the Alaska Highway and the closure of the road starting on June 8th. The road, closed along more than 100 miles in two stretches, was re-opened to single lane traffic on the 11th. The third week of June saw the Matanuska river surge past its banks as warm weather accelerated the melting of the snowpack. Strong thunderstorms and lighting stuck the Interior on several days in June, including a heavy hailstorm on the 4th. One of the storms had winds strong enough to blow of the roof of the North Fork cabin on the Pinnell Mountain trail.

Even though it has been a mild year for wildfires in Alaska up through June, two fires are worth mentioning. On the 20th a wildfire started in the Allakaket dump. The fire quickly spread, but did not threaten the village. Then on the 23rd, lightning strikes south of Nenana and west of the Parks highway started several fires that grew into the Bear Creak Fire (see the map below). Heavy fighting efforts were initiated for both fires.