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Old 12-06-2010, 06:24 PM
Location: Macao
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Basically, years ago, I lived in Minneapolis Minnesota. I remember hearing that despite Anchorage being much further north, the Pacific Ocean brings in a bit warmer weather than you'd get in Minnesota, as it gets the Arctic air coming down.

Generally the stereotype is that anything in Alaska is MUCH colder than anything in the Lower 48.

So, is the Anchorge weather milder than the stereotype?
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:40 PM
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I wondered the same because I'm wanting to move back to Anchorage. I lived there as a child. I don't remember the weather being as bad as the lower 48er make it out to be. Right now it's the same temperature in Anchorage as it is in Pittsburgh according to TWC. Now I know that's not always the case, but I'm starting to think it's not as bad as people make it out to be.

ETA I know Anchorage weather is not the same as Pittsburgh I just think there are places in the lower 48 that are colder at least from time to time, and places that get A LOT more snow.

Last edited by Spazkat9696; 12-06-2010 at 06:52 PM..
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:21 PM
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Yep, we get much more temperate weather here in Anchorage due to the ocean currents as compared to the north of here. You can always check our yearly weather data:

Weather Station History : Weather Underground (http://tinyurl.com/anchorageweatherdata - broken link)
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:24 PM
Location: Bliss Township, Michigan
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I came from the 'snow belt' of Northern Michigan. One of the reasons we chose this area was because winters are milder. Temps are about the same, but much much less snow. On another note, there is a lot more sunny days here also.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:33 PM
Location: Deltana, AK
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Without looking at the stats, I'm going to (educated) guess that the annual average temp in Anchorage is substantially lower than the other places mentioned; around 36 or 38 if I remember right. You are correct though that the ocean keeps the temperatures relatively mild through the winter. Coastal towns like Seward and Valdez are warmer yet, but have the downside of strong winds and very heavy snow. The catch in Anchorage is that winters are longer than down south (snow on the ground late October to sometime in April), and summers are cool, though generally comfortable with highs usually in the 60s.

Also, Anchorage gets sporadic arctic air blasts, much like the upper midwest. Cold snaps usually end up somewhere in the -20 range, though the records are substantially lower. That type of "normal" cold snap would probably put Fairbanks at about -40 and Seward a little below zero, give or take. 0 - 30 is much more common in Anchorage.

Anchorage gets substantial snowfall. Snowfalls are often in the 8in. to 1ft. range, and you can expect 3-4 feet on the ground by late winter, though that varies a lot around town. To my knowledge, only mountain towns in the lower 48 consistently get more snow than that. You can also expect at least one significant freezing rain event per winter.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:00 PM
Location: Moose Jaw, in between the Moose's butt and nose.
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Minneapolis gets weather that is slightly colder, however, presistent snow cover in Anchorage can stick from 5 to 6 months.....most of the time in Minneapolis (except for this year, probably, seeing how it's already been on the ground for about 1 month)...it's 3.5 months....
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:22 PM
Location: Bliss Township, Michigan
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Anchorage gets on average about 70 inches of snow per year. That really isn't very much, I've seen 96 inches in 3 days back in MI. The biggest difference in the winter months is the lack of daylight, though even that is only a few weeks.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:21 AM
Location: NP AK/SF NM
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Well, it may be warmer in Anchorage than Minneapolis, but that doesn't apply to a lot of the rest of the state. Predicted high in Fairbanks today is -5 to -20.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:33 PM
Location: Anchorage
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Spent 18 years in Montana, 8 in Delta Junction, 3 in Fairbanks, 3 in Anchorage.

Yes, Anchorage is MUCH milder then most people think when they think of winter weather in Alaska. It is wet and chilly but not really "cold". It does not get below 0F very often (at least not in the past 3 winters) but the cold seems colder to some because of the humidity. I have not even had to plug in my cars here in the past 3 years. Something that is unthinkable if you lived in Fairbanks or the Interior.

My mom still lives in Montana and it is frequently much colder there then is it here. Just last month, we had 35F and she was -25F.

Last edited by roadfamily6now; 12-10-2010 at 11:34 PM.. Reason: Had more to say
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:47 PM
Location: Anchorage
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While I was in Manokotak, Alaska this past week, it was -15 one morning. One of my co-workers in Anchorage said it got cold here in Anchorage this past week too, but it wasn't -15. I can say that my pickup took a few tries to get it started after sitting all week while I was in Manokotak! Otherwise, I have not had any problems with needing to plug in my vehicle, even last winter.
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