Weather Information

Fall is generally fairly mild, with a good deal of rain and wind. At the beginning of the school year you will have a great deal of daylight. Depending on how early you arrive, it might not actually reach full darkness, instead hovering at something similar to deep dusk for a few hours. Temperatures can get low enough that you might even see some snowflakes toward the end of September, but this will quickly melt. Sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, things will begin to freeze, the snow will start to stick and the snowmachines replace the ATVs. This is the beginning of a long winter. We lose between five to seven minutes of daylight each day. In the middle of winter you will come to school in the dark and go home in the dark. We get a few hours of weak sunlight during the middle of the day that offers virtually no warmth. Winter brings very low temperatures; it is not uncommon to see -30°F or even -40°F several times during winter. The wind blows during winter as well, and wind chill temperatures may reach -60°F or lower several times during the winter. You need to be prepared to be out in these conditions long enough to get to school. If you choose not to buy a Honda or snow machine, it means that you will have to walk to school in this weather. In some villages, this can be a fairly short distance, if the teacher housing is located near the school. However, in villages where the distance between the housing and the school is greater, you will obviously have to spend a longer time outside, trudging through the snow and ice, to get to the school. The importance of warm winter gear cannot be stressed enough. A warm parka, snow pants, hat, scarf, gloves, snow boots, and ice cleats will become necessary items in your wardrobe.

You will need to remember that, as is the case with many factors of living in Bush Alaska, all travel is done at the mercy of the weather, which means that there is a small chance that you won't always make it to Anchorage in time to make connections, if you plan on flying to the Lower 48 for the holiday break. Likewise, if you do travel somewhere, be prepared to have your stay extended, if the weather is not cooperating for your return back to the village. Days can go by without planes coming in to deliver mail or shipments for the local store.

After the winter solstice we gain daylight at the same rate we lost it in the fall. By March temperatures are climbing and you will marvel at how warm 0°F feels after you have survived the winter. Spring can bring gorgeous days filled with sunshine and gentle breezes, but it also brings fog and the occasional blizzard. There are multiple websites you can find through Google which provide up-to-the-minute weather information for most of our region.

NOAA Weather Service