Asking Which Way the Wind Blows

The weather, the light and of course, the Northern Lights are always sources of questions that our guests and clients have for us, here in Chisana. We call that “asking which way the wind blows.”  Here is a brief overview of what the weather might have in store for you during your visit to Alaska in the coming months.

Which Way the Wind Blows

Although Winters can be extremely harsh, with temperatures around -60 degrees Fahrenheit for days at a time, Interior summers can also have high temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Weather is a great metaphor for life — sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.” ~Terri Guillemets

Of course, since you are wondering and probably guessed, the Northern Lights are at their finest during the dark and cold Winter nights.

which way the wind blows, and when

(April – May)  Here in the mountains, this is our normal windy time, as the air is so much warmer than the ice and snow still melting. Snow is possible, especially at higher elevations.

In the Spring, clear skies, increasingly longer days, and warming temperatures break winter’s hold on the land with dramatic quickness.

Average highs are 40-50. Lows may still dip into the teens and single digits. Temperatures range from below freezing at night to highs in the 60’s during the best days. The skies are typically clear with limited precipitation.

The Northern Lights are still visible and always such a wonder to behold.

Which Way the Wind Blows
The forest cover is extensive in the river valleys but gives way with increasing altitude to sub-alpine and alpine vegetation. With the exception of the large river flats with many small lakes, most of the area is dominated by hills, which grow to the high peaks of the Wrangell and Nutzotin Mountain Ranges that surround us.

(June – July) Our Summer months are short, granted, but they are wonderful. Everything is so lush and green finally and the air stays so warm through the dim nights. We do not have 24 hour daylight, but we do have enough light all night long during the Summer, to read by outside.

Wildflowers and mosquitoes peak in June and July. You may consider bringing lots of insect repellant or a head-net. June and July are also the warmest months, with highs reaching into the 80’s on some days, but it can snow any month of the year in the high-country.

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Drizzling rains are not uncommon throughout the summer and July is typically the month that our rains start. It can be anything from daily sprinkles to three week long downpours to no rain at all. So, just remember to pack your rain gear and you will be fine!

They say, that the Northern Lights are still there, dancing their magical dance, but unseen during these two very light months.

Which Way the Wind Blows
Autumn arrives early; willows and aspens begin to change color by mid-August. This season can be delightfully clear, spectacular, and mosquito-free, but it often too short. First snows often fall in September.

The average highs in August and September are from 77 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows are from 45 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

The most amazing part of Alaska’s Fall months are that the Northern Lights can and are seen during August and September with the return of the dark nights. We are loosing light fast during these two months and it isn’t uncommon at all to see the Aurora as we take the horses out to graze at night.

Which Way the Wind Blows
The result of living deep inside the mountains and interior continental climate (long, extremely cold winters, and short, warm, relatively dry summers). Remember that in any Alaska season, the weather can change quickly, so it is wise to pack with clothing that can be layered, ready to peel off or add as you need.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”  ~Alfred Wainwright

Speaking of weather, packing, clothing and temperatures… I gathered up some of the posts I thought best complimented this one about the weather. You may very well enjoy them in addition to learning more about our weather and what you can expect (that would be…the unexpected!) during your visit.

A real heads-up for which way the wind blows, and when!

Another post you may be looking for, wishing for is 15 Steps From Your Door To Your Alaska Horseback Adventure. A wonderful post (if I do say so myself!) that helps you choose,schedule and plan your Alaska Adventure from today right up till you step off the plane on our airstrip!

which way the wind blows

I couldn’t leave out Winter! And as I had this post proof-read for me, the only comment I received in return was that “it was lacking my unique sarcastic wit.” GASP! Well, alrighty then.

“On cable TV they have a weather channel – 24 hours of weather.  We had something like that where I grew up.  We called it a window.” ~Dan Spencer

Ok! There ya go and remember, you are always welcome to leave a comment, ask a question or just click the “Book-It” button below and drop us a note!

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12 Responses to Asking Which Way the Wind Blows

  1. Loved it..but then I’m a weather nut too..and for once I can’t think of one silly question to covered it all. The “15 Steps” is one of my Favs too..lots of answers there for the journey!

    As Always ~*~

  2. All I know is that I’d have to have the right clothing or I’d be miserable! Wind and cold are very distracting! I really want to visit Alaska one time in my life. We could do a Polar Plunge! Imagine doing one in all 50 states! Someday!

  3. LOL! Ha! A Polar Plunge, eh, Betsy?! (snort)

    We’ll have to be sure to wear the GoPro cameras when Ann goes swimming this Summer! LOL!

    You are right though, about how distracting (and unpleasant) the wind and cold can be. This is my next project. I was just chatting on Face Book this morning with a sweetie who will be our guest this year. NEXT up: ADD gear lists TO this website. Clear, explained, gear lists. Not posts, discussing said lists, but the actual lists themselves, with the FAQs pages.

    We are gonna have a blast, Betsy!

    • Wait a darn minute! How did I miss this reply??? Ha! a GoPro camera ?? You thought you were going to get that o video??? Hahahaha..didn’t happen this year..but it will!! and when it does my dear DDD friend..if you have THAT thing’s going to get very wet!!! You didn’t think I was taking this dip alone did you??? Hehehehe………

  4. Great post Amber-Lee. You really brought your home to life for me.

    I’m starting to look seriously at how I can make this a possibility for fall 2015. The twins will be nearly 13 then and the younger one will be nearly 11. Plus it will give me a goal to lose weight so I can get on a horse!

    Love n Hugs

    • Steve!
      What an incredible Adventure for all three of them! And you as well, but ya know… I really, really love having the young eyes seeing this world! Biggest tip (from another big n tall shopper)? RIDE. Seriously! If you have anywhere that you can ride, friends or stables or even lessons, riding is the ultimate in fitness! Hands down my favorite.

      Oh. And yes, I am short. But that is all I am. People always ask me why I buy “tall” and I have never come up with a good response…. Just cause, I suppose is as honest as it gets! LOL

      Boys or girls, may I ask?? Both have their own special ways of looking at our life and seeing what I want to show the world… so I am just curious!
      ooo, now I am grinning from ear to ear!
      ~ Amber-Lee

  5. Really enjoying all this amazing information about Alaska, Amber-Lee! Interesting how weather does impact when we schedule our trips and vacations. Although, it does seem that there are great elements to each season where you are. Keeps me thinking! Thanks for sharing!

    • Terri,
      I said this over on G+ too, but it really is too good of a point to not repeat here.

      “Weather Permitting” is a big deal in Alaska. It is a very serious consideration for us in Chisana. It is very simple. If the weather is bad, you cannot fly. Flying is the only way (only reasonable and feasable way for guests) to get into or out of Chisana.

      The rest? Ahh, it’s just the weather. Get dressed (properly) and get out in it. I haven’t seen one guest or client yet: melt, turn into a Popsicle or actually get blown away. It’s just the weather. It happens. But, that is why having the proper gear, clothing and supplies are so very important. In my opinion, that is also why it is so very important for ANY visitor to the Alaska wilderness, to have a Professional Guide.

      Thank you for being here, with us!
      ~ Amber-Lee

  6. Hi Amber-Lee!
    Thank you so much for this post. I have been obsessing about the weather, and the Northern Lights. This was extra treat to read since I started purchasing my gear last week. I now have all my big pieces – sleeping bag, backpack, two pair of rain pants (one fleece lined, one not), and boots. I have been reading every blog posts on gear I could find and after a lot of thought I decided to go with Lowa hiking boots. I love my cowboy boots – they are so pretty with their bluebird and hearts design – but I just don’t think they could hold up on the trail. Thanks again for the great post!

    • I LOVE my Lowa’s!!
      I am so looking forward to meeting you and riding out. Naa, I NEVER wear MY cowboy boots! They cost too much! We have a good chance of seeing the Lights while you are here. I have seen them LOTS of times in August!
      I’m glad this helped, thank you for the questions, Ha! Be sure to jot them down as you think of them, they help everyone! (especially the shy ones!)
      Hugs soon!
      ~ Amber-Lee

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