Bethel breaks one heat record

by Angela Denning-Barnes on June 20, 2013

This month in Bethel, people have been sporting shorts and t-shirts and swimming in the river just to cool off from the heat. But as hot as it may seem, Bethel hasn’t set a bunch of records like other parts of the state.

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Monday’s high was 74; not a record. Yesterday the high was 75; also not a record. In fact, only one day this month has set a record. That was June 18, when the thermometer reached 88 degrees. It broke the record set back in 1976 of 78 degrees.

Bill Whittern is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bethel.

“In June, the temperatures are right around the mid 80s to the high 80s is the normal temperatures,” Whittern says.

But even though recent temperatures are not record breaking for the most part, they still feel hot. Whittern says that compared to the last several years, they are.

“This is probably the temperatures we’ve had in here for probably the last three years. I don’t think we’ve had any kind of decent summer in here,” Whittern says. “We’ve been in kind of a cold spell the last three years and now we’re getting into what is normal for the Delta. And we haven’t had this for such a long period of time, that, people have kind of forgotten about what the Delta is really like.”

Record keeping for Bethel weather goes back to the 20s and shows that hot Junes have been around for a long time. Take the day June 17th for example. It has a record high of 90 degrees set back in 1926.

As for the rest of this month, It’s not in the forecast for more records to be broken, although it’s possible.

“We’d have to get into the upper 70s to the mid 80s to break any records for the rest of this month,” Whittern says.

He says people could also be feeling the heat because last month was extra cold. In May, five new low records were set.

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