Alaska's biggest city won't be marking the nation's 243rd birthday with fireworks displays as Anchorage struggles with dry conditions, wildfires and what could become the hottest day in city history.
The city's all-time high temperature record of 85 degrees dates back 50 years. It could fall today, with a high of 86 degrees forecast by the National Weather Service. If a record is set, it might not last long – Friday's high was forecast for 87 degrees.
"Due to the extreme dry weather conditions in the Anchorage, Eagle River and surrounding areas, all fireworks shows have been canceled," the Anchorage Fire Department announced.
The heat was exacerbating dry conditions as temperatures in many areas were 20 degrees or more above average.
"Record-breaking temperatures are forecast across Alaska through this weekend as a strong upper level ridge parks over the state," the weather service said.
July 4th-7th: Record breaking temperatures are forecast across Alaska through this weekend as a strong upper level ridge parks over the state. pic.twitter.com/8uK0gKRKKY
— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) July 1, 2019
The high temps were affecting rivers, and faster-than-normal seasonal snowmelt was bloating several. The weather service warned of high, swift waters and issued a flood warning for some areas of the Yentna River.
Wildfires were a problem across the state. More than 100 active blazes were being monitored Thursday. In Anchorage, the small but dangerous MLK fire had burned less than 50 acres but was also less than 50% contained Wednesday.
The city also was affected by the larger Swan Lake Fire, and on Monday the city's first-ever dense smoke advisory was posted.
'Unbelievable': All-time record heat set to bake Alaska
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“The city is likely to face more smoke into this weekend,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
AccuWeather advised that young children, the elderly and residents with respiratory issues should consider staying indoors and keeping windows and doors closed.
AccuWeather did provide a ray of sunshine, so to speak. By the middle of or late next week, temperatures should fall back to near normal for July as the high pressure lifts farther to the north and west into the Bering Sea and northeastern Russia.
The rest of the nation see a mixed back of weather for holiday celebrations. Severe thunderstorms capable of producing large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes, are possible across much of the Midwest, the weather service said. Much of the East could have fireworks dampened by thunderstorms.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alaska heat wave: Coldest state could see all-time record today