Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
|(© MacGill Adams, Wilderness Alaska)|
Winter is extreme, long and cold. Snow falls eight or nine months of the year, averaging 60 to 80 inches. Average minimum and maximum January temperatures are -10 degrees F and -30 degrees F.
The central Brooks Range has long severe winters and relatively short cool summers. The entire region receives continuous sunlight during the summer for at least 30 days.
The south side of the Brooks Range below 2,500 feet is generally a subarctic climate zone. Precipitation is low, averaging 12 to 18 inches in the west and eight to 12 inches in the east. Snow falls eight or nine months of the year, averaging 60 to 80 inches. The average maximum and minimum July temperatures are 70 degrees F and 46 degrees F, respectively. Average maximum and minimum January temperatures are -10 degrees F and -30 degrees F. Thunderstorm activity is common during June and July, and generally June through September is the wettest time of Year. Prevailing winds are out of the north.
The north side of the Brooks Range has an arctic climate. Mean annual temperatures are colder than on the south side. Maximum and minimum February temperatures range from 33 degrees F to -47 degrees F. The warmest month, July, has 60 degrees F maximum and 40 degrees F minimum. Precipitation is extremely light, about five to 10 inches a year, making this essentially an "arctic desert." Snow has been recorded in every month of the year, and the annual average is 45 inches. Prevailing winds from the east in summer and west in winter are greatly modified by local terrain.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication