Fall in Interior Alaska.
The Alaska Interior
covers most of the U.S. state
's territory. It is largely wilderness
. Mountains include Mount McKinley (Denali) in the Alaska
Range, the Wrangell
Mountains, and the Ray Mountains.
largest city in the interior is Fairbanks, Alaska's
second-largest city, in the Tanana Valley. Other towns include North
Pole, just southeast of Fairbanks, Eagle, Tok, Glennallen, Delta Junction, Nenana, Anderson, Healy and Cantwell.
Northern Lights & Big Dipper at
Fairbanks, AK during September.
Interior Alaska experiences extreme seasonal temperature
variability. Winter temperatures in Fairbanks average −12 °F (−24
°C) and summer temperatures average +62 °F (+17 °C). Temperatures
there have been recorded as low as −65 °F (−54 °C) in mid-winter,
and as high as +99 °F (+37 °C) in summer. Both the highest and
lowest temperature records for the state were set in the Interior,
with 100 °F (38 °C) in Fort Yukon and −80 °F (−64 °C) in Prospect
Temperatures within a given winter are
highly variable as well; extended cold snaps of forty below zero
can be followed by unseasonable warmth with temperatures above
freezing due to chinook wind
Summers can be warm and dry for extended periods creating ideal
fire weather conditions. Weak thunderstorms produce mostly dry
lightning, sparking wildfires that are mostly left to burn
themselves out as they are often far from populated areas. The
set a new record
with over 6.6 million acres burned.
The average annual precipitation in Fairbanks is 11.3 inches (28.7
cm). Most of this comes in the form of snow during the winter.
storms in the interior of Alaska originate in the Gulf of Alaska, south of the state, though these storms often have
limited precipitation due to a rain
shadow effect caused by the Alaska
On clear winter nights, the aurora
can often be seen dancing in the sky. Like all
subarctic regions, the months from May to July in the summer have
no night, only a twilight during the night hours. The months of
November to January have little daylight. Fairbanks receives an
average 21 hours of daylight between May 10
and August 2
each summer, and an average of
less than four hours of daylight between November 18
The interior of Alaska is largely underlined by discontinuous
, which grades to continuous
permafrost as the Arctic Circle
Image:Fires in Interior Alaska.jpg|Fires in Interior Alaska
from July 7, 2009.Image:Hundreds of Thousands of Acres Burning in
Interior Alaska (natural).jpg|The thick pall of
smoke the fires were creating (August 2, 2009).Image:Hundreds of
Thousands of Acres Burning in Interior Alaska.jpg|Visible, short
wave and near-infra-red image showing
burned areas (brick red) and unburned vegetation (bright green)
(August 2, 2009).