Water can be seen on foliage after a rainstorm on July 14, 2019, in Kalifornsky, Alaska. The last significant rain to fall on the peninsula was July 26-28. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Water can be seen on foliage after a rainstorm on July 14, 2019, in Kalifornsky, Alaska. The last significant rain to fall on the peninsula was July 26-28. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Drought persists on peninsula

After three weeks without rain, peninsula has slight chance of showers this weekend.

It’s been 23 days since the central peninsula felt rain, and residents can expect those dry conditions to continue for at least a few more days.

Lucas Boyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the forecast is showing isolated, chance showers on Friday and through the weekend. But, because of the dry pattern the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska are experiencing, those chance shower events could be hit or miss, he said.

Kenai and the central peninsula haven’t received any measurable amount of rain since July, when it rained almost an inch between July 26-28.

Aug. 8, the Kenai Peninsula was placed into a moderate drought stage. The map was updated Aug. 15 to show a severe drought in the northern part of the Kenai Peninsula, a portion of the Matanuska Susitna Borough and Anchorage, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Kodiak Island is also experiencing a drought. On Monday, the city of Kodiak asked their residents to reduce their water consumption to curb a potential water shortage, a Monday press release from the city said.

“After unusually hot weather and in preparation of a potentially dry fall, the City of Kodiak is asking customers for a voluntary reduction of water usage,” the release said. “The reduction of usage is being requested because the potential for a water supply shortage continues to increase.”

The city of Kodiak receives their water from two sources, the Pillar Creek Reservoir and the Monashka Reservoir. The Monashka is the city’s main water supply, where about 6.3 million gallons of water are used a day, on average, the release said.

The U.S. Drought Monitor — produced in partnership with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — measures droughts using five levels, level zero being no drought, but abnormally dry conditions and the fourth level being an exceptional drought.

Between June 1 and Aug. 12, Kenai has received 1.51 inches of rainfall — a nearly 40% decrease in the average rainfall for the area, which is 3.88 inches of rain.

During the month of June, Kenai received 0.11 inches of rain. The average rainfall for the area in the month of June is 1.07 inches. In July, Kenai received 1.4 inches of rain, compared to an area average of 1.84 inches.

The dry weather has created the conditions beneficial to wildland fires. The Swan Lake Fire near Sterling — which grew nearly 40,000 acres in the last few days — took advantage of dry, windy conditions .

Areas of smoke will continue to persist, according to a special weather statement issued Tuesday from the National Weather Service.

The smoke will reduce visibility to as low as 1 mile at times, and less than 1 mile near active fires.

The worst conditions will be overnight and through the morning hours, with some improvement during the afternoon and early evening, the statement said. Those with respiratory issues may have difficulty breathing outside.

More in News

In this March 19, 2020, file photo Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, talks with reporters following a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington. Murkowski acknowledged Thursday, June 4, that she’s “struggling” over whether she can support President Donald Trump given his handling of the virus and race crises shaking the United States. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Mattis emboldens GOPers to criticize Trump

Murkowski on Thursday called the rebuke by Trump’s first Pentagon chief “necessary and overdue.”

A pair of tents sits at the Infinity Pools above the Tutka Backdoor Trail in Kachemak Bay State Park on July 9, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
State officials urge Alaskans to get outside

During a virtual town hall, commissioners fielded questions from the public on state recreation.

COVID-19. (CDC)
Nonresident COVID-19 cases nearly double; 8 residents test positive

Seventeen of the 18 new nonresident cases are workers in the seafood industry.

Photo provided by Ocean Bluff B&B
                                Tammy Kehrer of Palmer sits on the deck overlooking Cook Inlet at Ocean Bluff B&B in Kasilof. Kehrer is the daughter of owner Kathy Carlisle.
B&B bookings take hit due to virus

Owners have been getting feelers from in-state visitors, but so far reservations have been rare.

A king salmon during the 67th annual Golden North Salmon Derby at the Don D. Statter Memorial Boat Harbor in August 2013. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Low king counts result in closures on southern Kenai Peninsula

As of Sunday, video weirs and sonar had counted 184 king salmon at the Anchor River.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a Friday, March 27, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
Revised travel mandates to begin Friday

Those arriving from outside the state must self-quarantine, but revisions allow for exceptions.

Nikiski Fire Station #2, seen here on July 15, 2019 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
3 in Nikiski fire service test positive for virus

11 members of the department have been quarantined due to the possibility of COVID-19 exposure.

The Devil’s Creek Trail in Chugach National Forest, seen June 15, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
During pandemic, Chugach National Forest mostly stays the same

One of the differences will be in how much volunteer help the forest gets.

In front and from left to right, Aaron Ford, Karianna Ford and Jenni Stowe hold signs at a protest on Sunday, May 30, 2020, at WKFL Park in Homer, Alaska, in support of people of color who have been the subject of police violence, including George Floyd, a man who died May 25, 2020, in a police encounter in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to the “We (heart) our po po” sign — “po po” is slang for “police” — there also was a sign that read “Thank you HPD.” (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Homer residents organize multiple demonstrations on racial injustice

Gatherings, protests and demonstrations have been held in Alaska from Anchorage to Haines to Bethel.

Most Read