North

Southeast Alaska experiencing first recorded extreme drought

The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that scientists say the southernmost portion of Southeast Alaska has been in a drought for the last two years.

Ketchikan, Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell, and Metlakatla received drastically less precipitation

The Alaska town of Ketchikan is this May 12, 2005, file photo. The town has been experiencing drought conditions for the last two years, U.S. officials say. (Hall Anderson/Ketchikan Daily News/The Associated Press)

The wettest region in Alaska is experiencing the first extreme drought recorded by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that scientists say the southernmost portion of Southeast Alaska has been in a drought for the last two years.

Climatologists at the Fairbanks-based Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy say the drought was upgraded last week to an extreme, or D3, drought.

The designation is the second-highest category measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor and the first time those conditions have been recorded in Alaska.

Scientists say the extreme drought area includes Ketchikan, Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell, and Metlakatla.

Officials say areas experiencing lesser "severe" and "moderate" droughts have also expanded and the region's precipitation, while higher than other areas, is drastically less than normal.