WINTER IN ALASKA

Alaska has the reputation of having the most severe winters.  This is warranted as to the lowest temperature in the nation, with Fairbanks reaching -50 degrees at times.  But as to the average amount of snowfall, Alaska is ranked only fourth in the nation.  Valdez is the snowiest place in Alaska, with an average annual snowfall of 300 inches.  But compare that to the 671 inches that fall in Mt. Ranier, Washington and the Alaska winter doesn’t sound so intimidating.

Alaska does have limited sunlight in the winter and the further north you go, the darker it is.  In Barrow, which is several hundred miles north of the arctic circle,  the sun sets on November 18th and does not rise again until January 23rd, a period of 65 days.  Though darkness may sound depressing, it does provide the perfect condition for viewing the northern lights (aurora borealis).  In fact, Fairbanks is a popular winter destination due in part to the awesome views of this event.

There is an old Norwegian phrase; “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.”  So pack your mukluks and long underwear and visit Alaska in the winter.

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