What is an Alaskan Winter Really Like?
December 23, 2017 | Barb Huntley
We’ll cut to the point right away. Alaskan winters aren’t as bad as myths tell it, if you are living in Anchorage or the surrounding areas. Anchorage actually has a warmer climate than Midwestern cities such as Minneapolis and Chicago because it is located on the ocean. But, this microclimate is only in Anchorage and the surrounding cities. If you head 1 to 2 hours away towards interior Alaska, that’s where the myths about the cold become true.

Just like the temperature, the snow fall in Alaska varies as well. While most of the lower 48 seems to think Alaska is buried in snow most of the year, the facts state otherwise. Anchorage gets on average 78 inches of snowfall per winter. While that is still quite a bit of snow, it’s nothing to be overly worried about if you are living Anchorage. But, if you drive an hour away to Alyeska you could have 178 inches of snow during the winter.

The one thing everyone visiting and living in Alaska should be prepared for is the darkness. The cold and snow are easy to combat, because like we mentioned above, they aren’t as bad as they are thought to be. Most Alaskan’s will tell you the darkness is the worst part of Alaska during the winter. From mid-November to the end of January the daylight hours last 5 to 7 hours. That means most days you will go to work while its dark and leave while dark. But, if you can survive those weeks, come February when the days start to get longer you will already be dreaming of the endless sun of Alaskan summers.
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