Seasons in Alaska are different than most other places. The geography is so varied throughout the state that seasons can be vastly different from one city to the next. In the dead of winter, for example, Fairbanks reaches staggering low temperatures (-50). A few hours away, the Anchorage are only reaches about -20 but has incredibly strong winds. A lot the rural villages don’t reach such extreme low temperatures, but they do have much higher wind chill and stronger winds due to the lack of forestry.
In the summer, Anchorage doesn’t get particularly warm. It stays fairly cloudy and rain often. The Fairbanks area usually starts to warm up nicely, but then receives several weeks of rain followed by soaring temperatures. Other parts of the state, mainly coastal areas, never really change in temperature. They stay in a constant state of mid 40s throughout the entire year.
Despite the differences in geography, all Alaskan towns face the same seasonal debacles. During the summer, the sun only goes down for a few hours late at night. Blackout curtains go up and streetlights stay off. Mosquitoes swarm as spring fades into summer and Alaskan walk around smelling like Deet. During the winter, the sun is only up for a few short hours mid-afternoon. Pipes freeze and the snow piles up. Suddenly extension cords appear wrapped around car grills, ready to be plugged in to keep block heaters running. Blankets and boots collect in the trunks of cars for emergencies and Vitamin D tablets get passed around like MMs.
We struggle to go from one extreme season to the next, but it is comforting to know that the whole state is going through the same thing.