Atqasuk, Alaska Weather by Month

Atqasuk is a remote village located in the North Slope Borough of Alaska, United States. Located on the western side of the Arctic Coastal Plain, Atqasuk is approximately 60 miles southwest of Barrow (now known as Utqiaġvik), the largest city in the region. The village lies within the Arctic Circle, experiencing extreme weather conditions and unique natural phenomena throughout the year. With a population of around 250 residents, Atqasuk is a tight-knit community that relies on subsistence hunting and fishing for its livelihood. The village covers a small area of approximately 8.9 square miles, surrounded by tundra and permafrost landscapes.

Despite its remote location, Atqasuk is known for its rich cultural heritage and close connection to the land. The village is home to the Atqasuk Corporation, which oversees local businesses and land management efforts. Major landmarks in the area include the Colville River and the surrounding Arctic wilderness, which provide opportunities for outdoor exploration and wildlife viewing.

Geography and Climate

Atqasuk experiences a polar climate, characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. The village’s location above the Arctic Circle contributes to its extreme weather patterns, with extended periods of darkness in winter and continuous daylight in summer. The surrounding landscape consists of tundra, permafrost, and coastal plains, shaped by the harsh Arctic environment.

Climate and Weather Overview

Average Climate Data

The following table presents average temperature, precipitation, and sunny days for each month in Atqasuk, Alaska:

Month Average Temperature (Fahrenheit) Precipitation (inches) Sunny Days
January -9 0.3 0
February -7 0.2 0
March -5 0.2 0
April 6 0.3 2
May 27 0.4 11
June 43 0.5 16
July 49 0.8 17
August 46 0.8 13
September 35 0.6 7
October 19 0.5 2
November 3 0.3 0
December -6 0.3 0

Weather by Month


January in Atqasuk is characterized by extreme cold temperatures and minimal daylight. The average temperature plunges to -9°F, with only 0.3 inches of precipitation. The sun remains below the horizon for the entire month, resulting in perpetual darkness. Residents typically stay indoors to stay warm, engaging in indoor activities such as crafting, storytelling, and traditional Inuit games. Outdoor activities are limited due to the harsh conditions, but some residents may venture out for brief periods to check traps or gather firewood.


February sees similar weather patterns to January, with bitterly cold temperatures and minimal daylight. The average temperature rises slightly to -7°F, but daylight hours remain scarce. Precipitation levels decrease slightly to 0.2 inches. Residents continue to hunker down indoors, finding solace in community gatherings and cultural events. Outdoor activities are rare, with most residents focusing on maintaining their homes and preparing for the eventual arrival of spring.


March marks the gradual transition to spring in Atqasuk, although winter’s grip still lingers. The average temperature increases to -5°F, and daylight hours begin to lengthen. Precipitation levels remain low at 0.2 inches. As daylight returns to the village, residents may start to venture outside more frequently, taking advantage of the increased sunlight for outdoor chores and activities. Traditional celebrations and ceremonies may also take place to welcome the changing seasons.


April brings noticeable changes to Atqasuk as spring takes hold. The average temperature rises to 6°F, signaling the end of the coldest months. Precipitation levels increase slightly to 0.3 inches. With the return of daylight, residents emerge from their homes to engage in outdoor tasks such as repairing equipment, gathering berries, and preparing for summer hunting expeditions. The landscape begins to thaw, revealing patches of bare ground and budding vegetation.


May brings further warming to Atqasuk, with average temperatures climbing to 27°F. Precipitation levels continue to rise, averaging 0.4 inches. The village experiences nearly continuous daylight, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and subsistence practices. Residents may engage in fishing, hunting migratory birds, and gathering traditional plants for food and medicine. May also marks the return of migratory wildlife to the region, offering opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.


June heralds the arrival of summer in Atqasuk, with average temperatures reaching 43°F. Precipitation levels increase to 0.5 inches, but sunny days become more frequent. The landscape comes alive with vibrant colors as flowers bloom and wildlife thrives in the extended daylight. Residents take advantage of the warmer weather to engage in outdoor pursuits such as camping, boating, and exploring the surrounding wilderness. June also offers opportunities for cultural events and community celebrations.


July brings peak summer conditions to Atqasuk, with average temperatures reaching 49°F. Precipitation levels rise to 0.8 inches, but sunny days remain abundant. The village experiences nearly continuous daylight, allowing residents to make the most of the brief summer season. Fishing becomes a primary activity, with residents harvesting salmon and other fish from nearby rivers and streams. July also offers opportunities for berry picking, hiking, and participating in traditional cultural events.


August maintains the warmth of summer in Atqasuk, with average temperatures averaging 46°F. Precipitation levels remain steady at 0.8 inches, and sunny days continue to prevail. The village remains bustling with activity as residents take advantage of the favorable weather to engage in outdoor pursuits. Fishing remains a popular activity, with residents harvesting salmon runs before they migrate upstream. August also offers opportunities for berry picking, camping, and attending community gatherings.


September brings the first hints of autumn to Atqasuk, with average temperatures cooling to 35°F. Precipitation levels decrease slightly to 0.6 inches, but sunny days become less frequent. The landscape begins to transition as fall colors emerge, painting the tundra with hues of red, orange, and gold. Residents may focus on harvesting remaining berries and preparing for the upcoming winter months. September also offers opportunities for hunting migratory birds and participating in traditional fall ceremonies.


October heralds the arrival of winter in Atqasuk, with average temperatures dropping to 19°F. Precipitation levels remain relatively low at 0.5 inches, but daylight hours decrease rapidly as darkness returns to the village. The landscape becomes blanketed in snow as winter storms become more frequent. Residents prepare for the long winter ahead by stocking up on supplies, repairing homes, and ensuring their equipment is in working order. Outdoor activities become limited as residents hunker down to wait out the harsh winter conditions.


November brings the onset of winter in full force to Atqasuk, with average temperatures plummeting to 3°F. Precipitation levels decrease to 0.3 inches, but snowfall becomes more frequent as the month progresses. Darkness prevails for much of the day, with only a few hours of dim daylight. Residents focus on staying warm and cozy indoors, engaging in activities such as storytelling, crafting, and playing traditional games. Outdoor activities are limited to essential tasks such as checking traps and collecting firewood.


December marks the peak of winter in Atqasuk, with average temperatures dropping to -6°F. Precipitation levels remain low at 0.3 inches, but snow accumulations continue to build. Darkness envelops the village for the majority of the month, with residents relying on artificial light to navigate their surroundings. Outdoor activities are minimal as residents prioritize staying warm and safe indoors. December also brings opportunities for holiday celebrations and cultural traditions, providing moments of warmth and connection during the cold winter months.


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