Cantwell, Alaska Weather by Month

By | July 2, 2024

Cantwell, Alaska, is a small, picturesque community situated in the heart of the state. Nestled within the stunning Alaskan wilderness, it lies approximately 210 miles north of Anchorage and 140 miles south of Fairbanks, making it an essential stop for travelers exploring the Denali National Park and Preserve. Cantwell is located in the Denali Borough and is affiliated with the United States.

Geographically, Cantwell is surrounded by a diverse landscape, featuring mountainous terrains, lush forests, and pristine rivers. The community sits at an elevation of approximately 2,150 feet, providing breathtaking views of the Alaska Range. Despite its relatively remote location, Cantwell is accessible via the George Parks Highway (Alaska Route 3), which connects it to major cities and attractions in Alaska.

As of the latest census, Cantwell has a modest population of around 200 residents. Covering an area of roughly 121 square miles, it offers a sense of seclusion and tranquility that is ideal for those seeking a close connection with nature. While Cantwell does not host any famous companies or universities, it serves as a gateway to Denali National Park, one of the most iconic landmarks in Alaska.

Climate and Weather Overview

Cantwell experiences a subarctic climate, characterized by long, cold winters and short, mild summers. The weather in Cantwell can be quite variable, with significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Snowfall is common during the winter months, while summer brings milder temperatures and extended daylight hours.

Average Temperature, Precipitation, and Sunny Days by Month

Month Average Temperature (°F) Precipitation (in) Sunny Days
January -2 to 14 0.9 3
February 2 to 18 0.8 5
March 7 to 28 0.7 8
April 20 to 44 0.6 11
May 32 to 58 0.8 15
June 40 to 68 1.5 16
July 45 to 72 2.2 18
August 42 to 66 2.3 15
September 35 to 55 1.9 11
October 22 to 38 1.1 6
November 8 to 21 1.0 3
December -2 to 12 1.0 2

Detailed Weather by Month

January

January in Cantwell is the heart of winter, with average temperatures ranging from -2°F to 14°F. The landscape is blanketed in snow, creating a winter wonderland. Precipitation is relatively low, with an average of 0.9 inches, primarily falling as snow.

Natural Disasters: Extreme cold can sometimes cause frostbite and hypothermia if proper precautions are not taken.

Recommended Activities: Inside activities such as cozying up by the fireplace and enjoying hot beverages are popular. Outdoor enthusiasts can engage in activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.

February

February sees a slight increase in temperatures, averaging between 2°F and 18°F. Snow continues to dominate the landscape, with around 0.8 inches of precipitation.

Natural Disasters: Similar to January, the extreme cold remains a concern, though less severe as temperatures begin to rise.

Recommended Activities: Indoor activities remain popular, along with winter sports such as snowmobiling and ice skating on frozen lakes.

March

March brings a gradual warming, with temperatures ranging from 7°F to 28°F. Snowfall decreases slightly, with 0.7 inches of precipitation, and the days start to lengthen.

Natural Disasters: The risk of frostbite decreases but remains a concern. Early thaws can occasionally lead to icy conditions on roads.

Recommended Activities: As daylight increases, more outdoor activities become feasible. Winter sports continue, with the addition of early spring hiking on trails that are starting to clear.

April

April marks the beginning of spring in Cantwell, with temperatures rising to between 20°F and 44°F. Precipitation remains low at 0.6 inches.

Natural Disasters: Thawing snow can cause minor flooding in low-lying areas.

Recommended Activities: Spring hiking, bird watching, and wildlife photography become popular as the snow melts and the flora and fauna start to awaken.

May

May sees a significant increase in temperatures, averaging between 32°F and 58°F. Precipitation remains low at 0.8 inches, and the days are considerably longer.

Natural Disasters: Thawing continues, with a potential for minor flooding.

Recommended Activities: Hiking, fishing, and exploring Denali National Park are ideal. The extended daylight hours provide ample time for outdoor adventures.

June

June brings mild temperatures, ranging from 40°F to 68°F, with increased precipitation of 1.5 inches. This month marks the beginning of the tourist season.

Natural Disasters: None significant, though heavy rains can occasionally lead to slippery trails.

Recommended Activities: Hiking, wildlife viewing, and river rafting are popular. The long days and mild weather make it perfect for camping and exploring the outdoors.

July

July is the warmest month, with temperatures ranging from 45°F to 72°F and the highest precipitation at 2.2 inches.

Natural Disasters: None significant, though occasional thunderstorms can occur.

Recommended Activities: Outdoor activities are in full swing, including hiking, fishing, and exploring Denali. The extended daylight hours allow for endless exploration and adventure.

August

August sees temperatures ranging from 42°F to 66°F, with high precipitation at 2.3 inches. The weather starts to cool slightly towards the end of the month.

Natural Disasters: Thunderstorms and heavy rains can occur, leading to slippery conditions.

Recommended Activities: Outdoor adventures continue to be popular, with berry picking becoming a favored activity. The mild temperatures and long days are perfect for exploring the Alaskan wilderness.

September

September brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 35°F to 55°F, and reduced precipitation at 1.9 inches. The fall colors start to emerge, creating a picturesque landscape.

Natural Disasters: Early snowfall can occur towards the end of the month.

Recommended Activities: Fall hiking and photography are popular as the landscape transforms. It’s also a good time for fishing and preparing for the upcoming winter.

October

October sees temperatures dropping to between 22°F and 38°F, with 1.1 inches of precipitation, mostly as snow.

Natural Disasters: Early snowstorms can occasionally disrupt travel.

Recommended Activities: With the arrival of snow, winter sports such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing become feasible again. Indoors, activities like reading and crafting are popular as the days shorten.

November

November is firmly in winter territory, with temperatures ranging from 8°F to 21°F and 1.0 inch of precipitation. Snow cover is prevalent.

Natural Disasters: The risk of frostbite and hypothermia increases with the dropping temperatures.

Recommended Activities: Winter sports and indoor activities dominate. Preparing for the deep winter months ahead is crucial.

December

December brings temperatures ranging from -2°F to 12°F, with 1.0 inch of precipitation. The landscape is fully covered in snow, creating a serene winter setting.

Natural Disasters: Extreme cold conditions are prevalent, increasing the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Recommended Activities: Celebrating the winter holidays, engaging in winter sports, and enjoying the natural beauty of the snowy landscape are common activities.

Cantwell, Alaska, offers a unique experience throughout the year, with each month bringing its own set of weather conditions and activities. Whether it’s the serene beauty of a snowy January or the vibrant, long days of July, Cantwell provides ample opportunities for both adventure and relaxation.

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