Anchorage: Geography and Climate
Located in south-central Alaska in a wide valley, Anchorage is bordered on the west, north, and south by Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. The Chugach Mountains to the east have a general elevation of 4,000 to 5,000 feet, with peaks from 8,000 to 10,000 feet. These mountains block warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, keeping precipitation relatively low. The Alaska Range to the north protects the city from cold air from the state's interior; thus temperatures in Anchorage are usually 25 to 30 degrees warmer than temperatures in the rest of the state. While the area has four seasons, their length and characteristics differ from those of the middle latitudes; snows arrive in October and leave in mid-April, while annual average snowfall is seventy inches. Daylight hours vary from 19 in late June to 6 in late December.
Area: 1,955 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 132 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 20° F; July, 65° F; annual average, 35.8° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 15.71 inches of rain; 70.6 inches of snow
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