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As Planet Warms, Has Anchorage Become a Post-Sub-Zero City?

2014 is first-ever calendar year without sub-zero temperatures in Alaskan city, National Weather Service finds

2014 was the first calendar year that saw no sub-zero temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo: Nano Anderson/flickr/cc)

As 2014 draws to a close, it seems likely to be the first calendar year that recorded no sub-zero temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska, the National Weather Service reported Sunday.

The news of warm weather in a cold town comes shortly after NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration both confirmed that 2014 is set to be the warmest year in recorded human history.

According to NWS, the last time that Anchorage saw temperatures that dropped below zero was December 26, 2013—although the city briefly hit zero degrees exactly on February 11 of this year. The balmy forecast for the next few days means it is safe to say Anchorage will not see any negative temperatures before the year is up, NWS meteorologist Mike Ottenweller told the Alaska Dispatch News.

"With as much certainty as a meteorologist can put behind anything, there is no chance we will go below zero before the end of the year," Ottenweller said.

This is not the first time in recent history that Anchorage has seen long-term warm temperatures, having gone without sub-zero days from January 18, 2000 to November 30, 2001. However, the relatively warm temperatures mean that 2014 is the first calendar year, from January 1 to December 31, that the NWS will likely not record a single sub-zero day in the Alaskan city since the service began tracking temperature in 1952.

In every other calendar year, Anchorage averaged 25 sub-zero days between the cold seasons at the beginning and end of the year.

"It's strange to think about it," Ottenweller told ADN. "Because you're basically spanning two winters."

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