Summer in Alaska's Interior
Summertime Climate of Alaska's Interior
During the summer, Alaska’s Interior can be characterized by warm and seemingly endless days, maybe an afternoon shower, and of course mosquitoes. Most visitors to the Fairbanks area are surprised at just how warm it can get here this time of year. With a continental climate and over 21 hours of daylight, temperatures near 90°F during June and July are not uncommon in the land of the midnight sun.
In most years, May brings the first signs of summer when daylength, or the time from sunrise to sunset, has reached 19 hours. High temperatures are near 60°F and, lows are above freezing on average. This of course ushers in the start of the growing season for area gardeners. Precipitation is quite light in May with around half an inch and only 7 days with measurable rainfall. By June, days are at their longest near the summer solstice, which is the 20th this year, when sunrise is at 2:59am and sunset is at 12:47am. Temperatures have warmed on average by 10 degrees from May and highs are above 70°F and lows are near 50°F. Rain is more common with 1.3 inches total for the month and often comes in the form of convective showers, or even thunderstorms. July is the warmest month of the year with an average high of 72.2°F and average low of 51.8°F. Almost one half of the days generally have rainfall with a monthly total of almost 2 inches. Daylength is slowly decreasing on the order of a minute per day. Temperatures generally begin to cool during August, cloudy days increase, and precipitation is 1.88 inches. High temperatures are in the mid 60’s with lows in the 40’s.
The short summer season is fading away by September as the landscape turns golden, lows dip back into the 30’s and highs are in the mid 50’s. In the third week of September the autumnal equinox occurs and daylength is down to 12 hours. A snow flurry is not uncommon for late in the month.
Location Month
High (°F)
Low (°F)
Precipitation (in)
McKinley Park May
53.2
29.5
0.80
June
64.1
39.4
2.31
July
66.3
43.2
3.23
August
61.1
39.7
2.59
September
50.4
30.5
1.59
0
Bettles May
54.9
33.7
0.85
June
68.7
46.9
1.43
July
70.8
49.5
2.10
August
63.2
43.7
2.54
September
49.1
32.8
1.82
These conditions are common across the Tanana Valley, however visitors to the Denali Park area or the Arctic Circle can expect cooler temperatures on average, as seen in the table. This is especially true for those visitors who explore areas of higher elevation. Mean temperatures and precipitation are given for McKinley Park (an observing station near the park entrance) and Bettles (a community just north of the Arctic Circle and west of the Dalton Highway).

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