Bethel Thermometer Fixed, But Heat Wave Temperatures Lost To Climate Records

Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

The National Weather Service has repaired a broken sensor that malfunctioned in Bethel during the heat wave this past weekend. 

According to Sam Albanese, who is in charge of the National Weather Service office in Anchorage, it had been working intermittently since early June.

The office oversees the weather station in Bethel, which collects data so that pilots can decide when to fly or land. Climatologists also use the data for research. But when that sensor doesn’t work, a person has to take a thermometer, check the temperature, and record it. The bad news? Climatologists can't use that data because it’s not considered reliable for official records. Albanese says it didn't affect the safety of pilots.

Even so, while pilots can now see smoother operations thanks to a working temperature sensor, Bethel residents will never know if the heatwave this past week broke temperature records.