I frequently get the question what to wear in Alaska in February. Well, it depends on the weather. This post provides answers on what to wear in Interior Alaska in February for various weather and dressing situations.
- What is the weather in Interior Alaska in February?
- Weather vs. climate
- What to pack when visiting Interior Alaska in February
- Outfit ideas what to wear in Interior Alaska in February
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What is the weather in Interior Alaska in February?
Under high pressure conditions, nights are still very cold with temperatures in the -30F (-34.4oC, while the northward moving Sun leads to longer daylight hours and stronger insolation than in January. Consequently, temperature rises during the day to more pleasant conditions despite there is still some degree of cold stress even when you dressed appropriately. Nevertheless, wearing the right clothes permits enjoying a dog-sled ride, cross-country skiing, a short walk with or without dog(s) or snowmachining around local noon.
On the contrary, under low pressure, the increase in wind and humidity mean that it feels much colder and unpleasant than the temperatures actually are. This means despite you dress appropriately for the weather your thermal comfort is less than under high pressure conditions. Actually, the temperatures are often higher than under high pressure condition, but you feel much colder and uncomfortable when a frontal system comes thru. Moisture and wind are creepy and hard to dress for. Thus, in the Interior, people fear wind more than 40 below.
Weather vs. climate
Climate is the 30 years mean of the temperature, wind, humidity and pressure condition of a particulate hour, day, month or year at a given place. It’s the mean over the weather conditions of the past 30 years, i.e. the likelyhood that the climatological conditions are met exactly on a particulate day or in a particular month are low. Climate only reflect the range of conditions to expect. In other wordsClimate is what you wish for, weather is what you get. #wx #Alaska Click To Tweet
The time series of minimum and maximum temperatures show exemplary that during the diurnal course and the course of the month temperatures can differ strongly from the mean. It also illustrates that temperatures can differ strongly from one day to the other.
What to pack when visiting Interior Alaska in February
Due to the high range of potential weather conditions, you are best of packing pieces for layering. Go for clothes that color coordinate well and are suitable to create cozy layered looks, but also to be worn alone with just long underwear underneath. You can find how to maintain great style in painfully cold weather in the guide at the link.
Regarding your footwear, insulative insole are a Must. You don’t want to learn how to avoid cold feet at frigid temperatures the hard way.
When you come to see the aurora, see this post on what to pack for watching the aurora.
When you come for business the looks below work when the dress code is business casual. After already, four months of snow, everyone likes to see a pop of color. Thus, you can get away with bold colors in your outfit even at a work meeting or when going out for lunch or dinner with your business partners.
The next outfit works under humid conditions with long underwear and outerwear that is not filled with downs, for instance a shearling coat. The second look works on a sunny, dry, cold day with a down coat as outerwear. You can find what to look for in a down coat at the link.
Outfit ideas what to wear in Interior Alaska in February
The following photos show outfits I wore this February under various weather conditions. You may notice that my layering is more substantial when you see a gray background in photos taken outside than in those with blue skies. Gray skies mean moist, humid and sometimes combined with wind. Blue skies indicate dry, cold calm or no wind continental conditions. Photos taken indoor mean that it either was too dark or thermally too uncomfortable to take photos outside.
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Top of the World Style linkup No. 296
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See these awesome looks at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #timelessstyle Click To Tweet
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Nicole Mölders, 2019. Outdoor Universal Thermal Comfort Index Climatology for Alaska, Atmospheric and Climate Sciences. DOI: 10.4236/acs.2019.94036
Climate Normals: Western Region Climate Center
Data for time series: NOAA
Photos of me: G. Kramm
Plot of time series: N. Mölders
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