PHOENIX (CBS Las Vegas)– Record heat hit Alaska over the weekend, making the state warmer than much of the United States.
Aljazeera reports that Alaska, a state which is usually icy-cold until June, experienced heatwave-like conditions, breaking temperature records and melting ice much earlier than usual.
Alaska reached temperatures on Saturday even higher than Arizona. Arizona is in the same region that shares the highest air temperature recorded on earth, while Alaska has the Arctic Circle running through it.
Fairbanks, Alaska reached 86ºF on Saturday, while Phoenix, Arizona only reached 82ºF. The highest temperature ever recorded this early in the calendar year reached 91ºF in the city of Eagle, Alaska.
The early high temperatures are due to a high-pressure system over northwestern Canada, a consequence of a developing El Nino in the eastern Pacific. The conditions can lead to droughts, floods, heatwaves, and chills.
Florida was the only place within the country to beat the Alaska heat. More melting is expected in the coming days.