Anchorage has a temperate maritime climate, with cool summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature is a chilly 36 F/2 C. The area gets only around 15 in/40 cm of rain annually, but expect cloudy weather—more than 50% of the time—in summer. The city receives an average of 69 in/175 cm of snow annually.
June-August high temperatures are commonly in the 60s F/high teens C and can reach into the upper 70s F/mid-20s C on warm days. Winter temperatures are cold (but much milder than in Fairbanks and other parts of interior Alaska), with typical January nights around 6 F/-14 C. Periods of extreme cold are not uncommon in the winter.
Anchorage never gets completely dark in the middle of summer, and the summer solstice (20 or 21 June) is a time for celebration, with more than 19 hours of sunshine. The reverse occurs in winter, and by the winter solstice in late December, the city sees only about five hours of light.
Because of the long days and mild conditions, summer is when the vast majority of travelers go to Alaska. But winter also attracts its share of visitors, including hardy souls who go to take in the spectacular northern lights or to enjoy a dogsledding adventure.