ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A heat wave hitting Alaska may not rival the blazing heat of Phoenix or Las Vegas, but to residents of the 49th state, the days of hot weather feel like a stifling oven -- or a tropical paradise.
With temperatures topping 80 degrees in Anchorage, and higher in other parts of the state, people have been sweltering in a place where few homes have air conditioning.
They're sunbathing and swimming at local lakes, hosing down their dogs and cleaning out supplies of fans in at least one local hardware store. Mid-June normally brings high temperatures in the 60s in Anchorage, and just a month ago, it was still snowing.
The weather feels like anywhere but Alaska to 18-year-old Jordan Rollison, who was sunbathing with three friends and several hundred others lolling at the beach of Anchorage's Goose Lake.
"I love it, I love it," Rollison said. "I've never seen a summer like this, ever."
State health officials even took the unusual step of posting a Facebook message reminding people to slather on the sunscreen.
Some people aren't so thrilled, complaining that it's just too hot.
"It's almost unbearable to me," said Lorraine Roehl, who has lived in Anchorage for two years after moving here from the community of Sand Point in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. "I don't like being hot. I'm used to cool ocean breeze."
On Tuesday, the official afternoon high in Anchorage was 81 degrees, breaking the city's record of 80 set in 1926 for that date.
Other smaller communities throughout a wide swath of the state are seeing even higher temperatures.
All-time highs were recorded elsewhere, including 96 degrees on Monday 80 miles to the north in the small community of Talkeetna, purported to be the inspiration for the town in the TV series "Northern Exposure" and the last stop for climbers heading to Mount McKinley, North America's tallest mountain. One unofficial reading taken at a lodge near Talkeetna even measured 98 degrees, which would tie the highest undisputed temperature recorded in Alaska.