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Old 09-05-2008, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
407 posts, read 1,047,664 times
Reputation: 110

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So, Ive lived in Minnesota for a good chunk of my life, and still have family that lives up there (The twin cities area). Ive been to your beautiful state once in June. Pretty nice. In the 60's and sunny.
Winter is coming in a couple of months here to the midwest (which I am personally not ready for summer to end yet) and my random question is this. How do Alaska winters compare to Minnesota winters. In terms of temp and duration. I know everyone here in the lower 48 thinks that Minnesota is the coldest place on earth and I hear that snowmobiling (snowmachining in Alaska) is a pretty popular sport as it is in Minnesota (wehn we get enough snow down here). Has anyone experienced winters in both places?
Sorry if my quesion is lame and I know I can just look up the weather stats, but I looking for peoples personal experiences.

Thanks
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
8,685 posts, read 14,165,472 times
Reputation: 10300
Here on the peninsula last winter, was way better than in Minneapolis area. I was a little concerned when we moved up here, but pleasantly surprised as far as the differences. Not sure if it was typical winter or not here. We only went into the deep freeze for about a week and a half that I can recall. The difference is the light, but didn't bother me a bit, as I can find more than enough to stay occupied
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,850 posts, read 19,589,140 times
Reputation: 6479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaysos View Post
So, Ive lived in Minnesota for a good chunk of my life, and still have family that lives up there (The twin cities area). Ive been to your beautiful state once in June. Pretty nice. In the 60's and sunny.
Winter is coming in a couple of months here to the midwest (which I am personally not ready for summer to end yet) and my random question is this. How do Alaska winters compare to Minnesota winters. In terms of temp and duration. I know everyone here in the lower 48 thinks that Minnesota is the coldest place on earth and I hear that snowmobiling (snowmachining in Alaska) is a pretty popular sport as it is in Minnesota (wehn we get enough snow down here). Has anyone experienced winters in both places?
Sorry if my quesion is lame and I know I can just look up the weather stats, but I looking for peoples personal experiences.

Thanks
I lived in St. Paul for a number of years while I attended the university. Alaska is a very big state, and that means we have a wide variety of weather patterns, from a temperate rain forest in southeast Alaska where they get 100" or more of precipitation, to a frozen desert on the north slope where they get less than 3" of precipitation, and everything in between.

Southeast Alaska (a.k.a. the panhandle) is a temperate rain forest. The winters are relatively warm compared to elsewhere in Alaska, with 100" of annual precipitation or more. Normally, you would be lucky to get 2 or 3 sunny days per month in the Alaskan panhandle. Winters are very mild, and while it does get cold enough to snow, the snow usually doesn't last very long before the rains melt it away.

South central Alaska, within 50 miles of the coast, experiences mild summers and mild winters. Winter temperatures are similar to Omaha, NE, with more snow. It has dropped below -20F on occasion, but not more than a few days per winter, usually a day or two in December and then again in February. "Normal" (if there is such a thing) temperature ranges during the winter in south central Alaska is between +10F and +30F. Southerly Chinook Winds usually hit the south central area around January, and while they can exceed hurricane force they are always warm and can bring the temperature up to +40F or +50F for the few days they are blowing.

Interior Alaska (north of the Alaska Range) has the biggest temperature difference in the state. It can drop to -60F during the winter, and get up over +90F in the summer. Interior Alaska has slightly less rainfall than south central coastal areas of Alaska, and also has the vast majority of the thunderstorms and lightning strikes in the summer. The interior has more sunny days than south central or south eastern Alaska, which makes it the place to be for viewing northern lights.

Personally, I find south central Alaska to be more toward my tastes. Not too hot or humid in the summer, and not too cold in the winter, with just enough snow (usually) to have fun.
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