If it pops above zero, residents can say goodbye to the frozen ground beneath their feet, along with the free iceboxes in their basements. The interior is dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana) and white spruce (P. glauca), which form the climax forest (a stable forest community that has adapted to its natural environmental succession). This zone is located almost directly in the path of easterly moving storms that cross the Gulf of Alaska. I just changed it to “Rainfall”. The high winds and blizzards brought by such storms create hazardous conditions for the sea’s fishing vessels. Thunderstorms are common in the interior in summer, and severe lightning has caused forest fires. Much of the southern parts are temperate rainforest. Yet, it is not unusual for daily maximum readings to remain in the 50s during the summer months. Snow has fallen in all months of the year except June, July, and August. Annual snowfalls vary from about 60 to 90 inches. For all other areas in this zone, the sun remains below the horizon from late November until mid-January, and continuous daylight runs from the middle of May through the end of July. Boreal forest (taiga) in early autumn, with white spruce, birch, and low shrubs, near the Fortymile River, a tributary of the Yukon River, east-central Alaska. May is a definite transitional period, and July is the warmest month of the year. The climate patterns of Alaska are primarily influenced by latitude, continentality, and elevation. This zone has a climate rather similar to that of the Southeast Coast, except that precipitation, though frequent, is not as abundant. The panhandle and southern islands are covered with Sitka spruce, hemlock, some Alaskan cedar, and other evergreens. Here’s the Alaska NOAA weather website for more information. Temperatures in the 70s are considered very warm; seldom do high temperatures ever reach the lower or middle 80s. Musk oxen in the snow, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, northeastern Alaska, U.S. Caribou migrating, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. In general, ice fog does not occur. The natural world Several fish species already have begun migrating northward along Alaska’s Pacific Coast because of the warming temperatures. One of the most common is that Alaska temperatures in summer are cool. Those caribou migrate from south of the Brooks Range to the Arctic coastal plain for breeding; there, constant winds eliminate insects, and the caribou can see its enemy, the wolf, at a great distance. Some of the hottest places on Earth are found here, and few people live in this climate. The mixing of the warm waters with the Bering Sea’s cold waters contributes to an atmospheric low-pressure centre known as the Aleutian low. The extratropical storm track runs along the Aleutian Island chain, across the Alaska Peninsula, and along the coastal area of the Gulf of Alaska which exposes these parts of the state to a large majority of the storms crossing the North Pacific. Large numbers of migratory birds nest in both the interior and on the Arctic coastal plain. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. When compared to high readings near 90°, Alaska temperatures range is an astonishing 170°. Alaska’s interior, a second climatic zone, has a continental climate influenced in the winter by cold air from northern Canada and Siberia. The sun remains visible from that time until August 2, when it begins to set again for 1 hour and 25 minutes. How well do you know your musical places? Foliage turns green in most sections by late May/early June. videos. Rainfall varies locally from about 60 to 160 inches (1,500 to 4,000 mm). For most sections, the average occurrence of the last freeze in spring is during the second half of May, while the first in fall is during the first half of September. The coldest weather is normally in January, when very cold days have high temperatures below zero. Accumulated snow depths of a foot or more are infrequent and, because of moderating temperatures, snow covers seldom persist beyond a week or two. Alaska’s interior, a second climatic zone, has a continental climate influenced in the winter by cold air from northern Canada and Siberia. The Arctic has limited incoming solar warmth in the winter and an abundance of available light in the summer. Lowest Temperature -79.8° F (-62° C) at Prospect Creek on January 23, 1971. The climate in Southcentral Alaska is a subarctic climate due to its short, cool summers. KS2 This map has been created to help gardeners know what kind … This is a awesome website to use for school! Thanks to a modifying effect of the ocean, the long Arctic night temperatures of the immediate coastal areas do not drop to the extreme low readings reached in the Alaskan interior. Alaska’s summers are warm with temperatures that can reach into the 90°s. The vast interior region of Alaska has a markedly continental climate, with frigid winters, and short but mild summers, during which there can be a few hot days. The Arctic region has 24 hours of sunlight in the summer, but the low sun angle limits thawing of the surface to not more than about 1 foot (0.3 metre), while the absence of sunlight in the winter allows an ice cover of at least 1,000 feet (300 metres). Alternatively, after watching this clip, pupils could be given different climates to research and present to their classmates. West: Western Alaska is a subarctic zone that varies widely in its climate. What effect does the wide extremes of weather in Alaska have on life expectancy of it’s citizens in comparison to those with less variances? Mild days with temperatures in the 30s do occur. The climate in the extreme north of Alaska is an Arctic climate with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers. The climate in the western and southern sections of this zone is more maritime than continental in character, and that modifies the daily temperature extremes. Moreover, the Arctic Ocean’s pack ice has decreased in thickness, and in summers it has been receding farther north, increasing the possibility that both the Northwest and Northeast passages, accessed through the Bering Strait, may become open for navigation during the summer. Average daytime summer temperatures range from approximately 55 to 78 °F (12.8 to 25.6 °C); average daytime winter temperatures are about 5 to 30 °F (−15.0 to −1.1 °C). Alaska is known for its variable climate, which is influenced by ocean currents. It says “May through September” at the bottom. Actually, the record for Alaska (and the entire U.S. for that matter) was set in 1971 at Prospect Creek in the northern interior: a bone-chilling -80°F! Yakutat has an annual precipitation of around 130 inches, one of the highest in the state. There are so many variables. Alaska climate zones are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. After and before is usually snow. However, appreciable snowfalls seldom occur after late March or before late November. Lowest Annual Normal Temperature 9.3° F (-12.6° C) at Barrow (U.S. Record), Lowest Summer Normal Temperature June–August 36.4° F (2.4° C) at Barrow (U.S. Record), Lowest Winter Normal Temperature December-February -15.7° F (-26.5° C) at Barter Island (U.S. Record).
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