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Old 03-24-2008, 01:57 AM
14 posts, read 42,511 times
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Oh is Anchorge one of those cities we have a great time growing up in or visting but when we get older or when the holiday is over and need employment or return to work have to move on to somewhere else?
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:48 PM
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Originally Posted by My2cats1 View Post
I would really appreciate some candid thoughts about winter in Anchorage. Do the short days affect you, or do you get used to it? Do you use SAD lamps? Does it get very windy? How is the winter driving in the city? Do you find that people go straight home after work, or do people stay out and about in the evening? Do you socialize less, or do you not let the weather stop you?

I appreciate your input!
As long as you get outside and stay active during the winter, even if it nothing more than taking your dog for a daily walk, the short days will not have much effect. It is when you stay indoors and do nothing all winter that the long winter nights get tiresome quickly. I don't know what SAD lamps are, but I do use more lights in the winter than I use in the summer for the obvious reasons.

Normally, Anchorage gets the Chugach Winds sometime during January. They were early this year, appearing around Thanksgiving. With the 80+ mph winds, which lasts about a week to 10 days, comes warmer temperatures. It can reach +50°F during such times.

Weather tends not to impede the plans of most Alaskans. Since the weather is so fickle here, and can change within the hour, we just go ahead with what we had planned regardless of the conditions.

Winter in Alaska is the second most beautiful season of the year. All the tourists and snowbirds leave the state, and real Alaskans have the entire state to themselves (except for the Japanese tourists that come up during the winter in order to try and conceive under the northern-lights). I can go on little hikes not far from where I live and not see another human being around for hours. If solitude is your thing, nothing beats Alaska during the winter.

Spring is the ugliest, but the most welcome, of all the seasons. After 7 to 8 months of winter, it is nice to have a change of pace. Besides, the salmon return in late May and that is always an anticipated event.

By Fall, the most beautiful season of the year, I'm really looking forward to winter. If I didn't really like winters, I certainly wouldn't be living in Alaska.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:19 PM
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Thanks for your replies - this has been helpful. I'm planning two trips this year (early July and late January/early February) to get a better feel of it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:42 PM
Location: Lovelock, NV - Anchorage, AK
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I live on the mid hillside and we can get wind up there it is very common to have gusts upwards of 60-80 mph, but you have plenty of warning to tie down the hatches. Down in the Anchorage bowl is less common so when it does happen it's noticable.

Anchorage is a lovely place to live in any season, I too will be snowbirding as I've had 34 winters up here and looking forward to the winters elswhere but will be here every April through June or July.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:34 PM
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Default winter

Many apartments have carports & plug-ins. I did that for years here in Anchorage before buying with a double car garage. We never plug in at work, or course, & don't need to.

I skate ski out my back door onto groomed ski trails most days all winter. Sometimes I do get depressed when the snow gets ruined by ice rain or wind. But then I get out my hiking boots & yaktrak grips.

I also ice skate in the winter. Westchester Lagoon takes on an almost magical quality with the views for skating.

People still get out... bars & restaurants are always hopping in Anchorage.

The problem with driving is when people drive like maniacs. Those of us that drive the correct speed limit for the conditions don't have problems. I have seen a number of driving schools around. You could probably take a weekend refresher course in an icy, empty parking lot. I have seen the driver's trainers taking drivers up to Arctic Valley up the mountains to practice. As someone said, good studded snow tires are the ticket.

It is also very possible to find housing close to your place of work.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:03 AM
Location: Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska
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Having lived in Fairbanks for the last year I have gained a little perspective on living in Anchorage. That perspective might be skewed however Firstly, I think Anchorage winters are good. The only thing that makes them depressing sometimes, for me atleast, is when things are warm and all of the snow melts. Once that happens the city just looks sad and dirty. Most of the time though, I think they are good.

Living in Fairbanks has taught me the meaning of cold and dark. -48 F with 4 hours of light is no picnic. This is Fairbanks remember, not Anchorage. I think Anchorage temperatures are just about right during all parts of the year. This year is got down to -15 or so in Anchorage for a bit but I would say that is atypical. I have seen winters where it never gets below 0. Considering how north Anchorage is, not getting below 0 is probably pretty mild.

As for the winds on the hillside, yes they do happen, although I have noticed that they occur more the more south you live. I lived just off of DeArmond and getting those gusts are quite common when it warms up quickly.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:35 AM
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Closer to the North Pole the seasons tend to be more extreme with winter lasting longer I suppose for 9 months of the year.
But if you lived there for a while you would most probably get used to it. And the fact of being near the plate boundary would be a little scary(earthquakes). One would have to opt for a timber dwelling for safety. Then the insurance company would not be happy as timber dwellings tend to burn faster. They would prefer brick in the external wall.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:24 PM
Location: Wasilla, AK
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If you can handle Chicago winters you are more than prepared for Anchorage winters. Most of the time we don't drive in more than 8 to 9 inches of snow here. 6 inches or less is not too bad, 6 to 12 is a pretty good snowfall and if it snows more than 12 then that's a lot. The record for the most snow at once in Anchorage is 24 inches, and that happened in 2002. Late in April this year we got anywhere from 16 to 22 inches depending on where you were in town and that was the 3rd highest total ever. Just to give you some idea.
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