Yakutat
59°31'N 139°38'W 27.9 ft a.s.l.
Information courtesy of the National Climate Data Center
The Yakutat area is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Gulf of Alaska and Yakutat Bay. Consequently, the climate is maritime in character. Although the area in the immediate vicinity of the station is relatively flat, rather rough, hilly terrain exists within short distances. At distances of 40 to 75 miles to the north and northeast, peaks of the St. Elias Range rise to heights of from 14,000 to almost 20,000 feet. The up-slope terrain, combined with the exposure of the station to moisture-laden air from the Gulf, tends to provide Yakutat with abundant rainfall. The annual precipitation of around 130 inches is one of the greatest in the state, and annual amounts have always been in excess of 85 inches. Thunderstorms seldom occur, with about one per year. June has the lowest precipitation of any month with around 5 inches. October, with almost 20 inches, has the heaviest monthly rainfall. In spite of abundant rainfall, runoff from heavy rain seldom creates a problem of any consequence. This is particularly true in the vicinity of the station where runoff not easily reaching drainage ditches is quite readily absorbed by the porous gravel which is exposed as a surface layer over much of the area. The heavy precipitation produces copious growth of various types of vegetation in the surrounding woods, including several types of edible berries. However, the soil is not suitable for agriculture and a great deal of time is required to prepare the soil to produce even small quantities of garden produce. Agricultural activity is of minor importance. Heavy stands of timber in the area are harvested for lumber and pulp. Fishing is a main source of income in the area. Daily and seasonal temperatures are held within fairly well-confined limits. Differences between readings range from a little over 12 degrees in October to around 16 degrees in April and May. Normal monthly temperatures range from slightly above 26 degrees in January to around 53 degrees in July and August. Although Yakutat has experienced temperatures below -20 degrees, readings approaching this figure are extremely rare. Yakutat averages about 20 days each year with temperatures below zero. The higher mountain areas to the north and northeast of Yakutat, with extensive glaciation, provide down-slope cold air drainage which results in wide variations of temperature within short distances. Temperatures above the 80 degree mark have occurred in June, July, and August.

Snowfall has occurred in all months of the year except June, July, and August.

Cloudiness is abundant with the annual sunrise to sunset cloud cover exceeding eight-tenths. During the spring, fall, and winter months the Yakutat area is subjected to numerous storms, usually accompanied by high winds. The St. Elias Mountain Range, which borders the area on the northeast and contains numerous glaciers, exerts a pronounced effect upon the local weather, particularly when a steep pressure gradient develops with low pressure in the Gulf to the southwest of Yakutat. Under these conditions cold winds move down from the glacier slopes and skies are generally cloudless.