Welcome to the 49th State!

If a map of Alaska was put over a map of the Lower 48 states, we’d stretch from Savannah, Georgia to Los Angeles, and from the Texas Panhandle to the top of North Dakota. That’s more than one-fifth the size of the of the Lower 48! In a state this size, our weather can vary dramatically by region and season.

Summer In Alaska

Summer in Alaska – May through September – first appears in the Inside Passage region and moves its way north, carried along by lengthening daylight hours. May is generally the driest month across the state, even in the temperate rainforest of the Inside Passage. By July, daytime temperatures in the Interior can average in the 70° F range – although it has been known to reach well into the 90s – while temperatures in the coastal areas and higher elevations rarely get above 65° F. Temperatures across the state start cooling in August and September, triggering a riotous display of fall colors across Alaska’s tundra and forest landscapes.

Winter In Alaska

Winter in Alaska is roughly October through March, although temperatures and daylight vary from region to region. Coastal areas are more temperate, rarely falling below 20° F. Snow blankets much of Southcentral during the winter months, perfect for winter activities like skiing, snowmobiling (snowmachining to Alaskans), and dog mushing.

Winter in the Interior and Arctic regions are completely different. You may start seeing snow in Interior as early as October, and temperatures may dip below -20° F during the winter months. Strangely, the Arctic is technically a desert. You’ll see snow, but Utqiagvik – Alaska’s northernmost community – gets less than 5 inches of precipitation per year.

Spring and Fall In Alaska

Temperatures during the shoulder seasons in Spring and Fall can be variable, warm during the day but still cold at night.

So, in terms of day-to-day weather, it’s best to plan for a little of everything. Learn more about specific weather for the five regions in the state: InteriorSouthcentralArcticInside PassageSouthwest.

 


Climate & Clothing Guide

Click on a region below to see typical weather conditions and recommended clothing for your trip to Alaska:

INTERIOR
SOUTHCENTRAL
ARCTIC
INSIDE PASSAGE
SOUTHWEST

Alaska Weather Myths

Myth: Summers in Alaska are always cool.
Fact: The Interior region of Alaska enjoys warm summers. Fort Yukon holds the state's high temperature record: 100° F in June 1915! Fairbanks often has summer temperatures in the 80s and occasionally gets up into the 90s.

Myth: Arctic Alaska is the coldest part of the state.
Fact: The Northern Interior (along Brooks Range) holds the record for the lowest temperature, where the mercury fell to -79.8° F (-62° C) at Prospect Creek in 1971.

 

Alaska Weather Records

Lowest Temperature

-79.8° F (-62° C) at Prospect Creek on January 23, 1971 (U.S. Record)

Highest Temperature

100° F (38° C) in Fort Yukon on June 27, 1915

Lowest Annual Normal Temperature

9.3° F (-12.6° C) in Utqiagvik (U.S. Record)

Lowest Summer Normal Temperature

June – August: 36.4° F (2.4° C) in Utqiagvik (U.S. Record)

Lowest Winter Normal Temperature

December – February: -15.7° F (-26.5° C) on Barter Island (U.S. Record)

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