Ask a Climatologist: A tale of early summer heat, green-up and extreme pollen

Birch trees with newly green leaves at Alaska Public Media on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. (Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska has transitioned from a pretty chilly winter across the state to record-setting, early summer heat in some places and green leaves exploding on trees, as well as an extremely high level of pollen in the air.

Climate researcher Brian Brettschneider, who now works for the National Weather Service’s Alaska region, is back for another Ask a Climatologist segment. And Brettschneider says there are some things that stand out about Alaska’s spring and early summer, including Fairbanks’s second earliest heat wave and its astonishing level of birch pollen. He also has a bit of a climatological forecast for the summer to come.


Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at

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