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It’s not all Sunshine in Summertime: Interior Alaska’s Changing Warm Season

August 25, 2020 @ 10:00 am to 11:00 am AKDT

Mud, mud, and more mud. Image of muddy boots from the wet summer of 2014.

Speakers: Cecilia Borries-Strigle & Rick Thoman

Spring and summer in Interior Alaska is now warmer, and in recent years wetter than in the past, and the impacts of these changes are affecting the lives and livelihoods of Alaskans. Persistent rains keep water levels high of rivers but potentially accelerate permafrost melt. Warmer springs and higher nighttime temperatures open up more garden and agricultural possibilities but also set the stage for increased wildfire activity. We’ll examine what’s happening and what the coming decades may bring for Interior summers. Precipitation variability and change has important impacts on fire weather and its management, and fire managers need skillful information regarding the upcoming fire season to inform decisions. We will also examine using multi-model seasonal forecasts as a potential tool for fire managers to develop fire weather outlooks in March when management information is needed.