North America Weather Overview
North America is where you will find the bright lights of?Las Vegas, the ski slopes of?Whistler, the white beaches of?Cabo San Lucas? and the intriguing culture of?Cuba. Spanning from the tip of icy?Alaska?right down to the sandy beaches of southern?Mexico, North America?has a lot of offer in terms of weather, not to mention landscape and culture.
In the very?northwest?you will find?Alaska, the?USAas largest state by land mass. Purchased from the Russian Empire in the late 1800s for 2 cents a square metre,?Alaska?is currently one of the?United Statesa?most racially diverse states, and also one of the wealthiest. The state was only recognised as?USAas 49th?state in 1959, so it is a fairly new addition!
The climate of?Alaska?varies depending on proximity to the?Arctic Circle. As you head further north it becomes sub arctic while to the southwest, towards the sea, it is oceanic.
Juneau,?Alaskaas capital city, lies in the South of the state, sharing a border to the east with British Columbia. The climate in the capital is oceanic,?with an average high temperature in July of 18 °C and an average low temperature in January is -7 °C.
Anchorage?is the largest city. It lies on the coast in south-central?Alaska?in a lowland area. While Anchorage is also kept considerably milder than other cities of similar longitude due to the sea, the climate is labelled sub arctic - primarily due to the presence of short, cool summers and longer, snow-filled winters. Average daily summer temperatures range from 13°C to 25°C before dropping down to average daytime winter temperatures of a cold -15°C to -1°C Celsius.
As you move away from the coast the weather becomes increasingly extreme.?Because?Central Alaska?is not moderated by the seas, record temperature extremes have been recorded. The area sees temperature rise into the 30s in the summer months yet fall to a blistering -50 °C in the height of winter.
June 1915 saw?Fort?Yukon?record an uncomfortable high of 38 °C, while in Prospect Creek in January 1971 the town suffered through an achingly cold -64 °C.
Lying adjacent to?Alaska?is?Canada,?the worldas fourth largest country by land mass. Taking up 3,854,085 square miles, meeting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and spanning from the Arctic Circle down to the?United States?border, it is understandable as to why Canada?witnesses significant climatic differences from northern arctic regions down to the south of?Canada.
South-eastern?Canada?is made up of lowlands and plains while the western regions are studded with mountains.
On the west coast is the?province?of?British Columbia, which in itself witnesses a range of weather conditions, a result of its mountainous interior and rugged coastline. In fact, 75% of BCas land is mountainous, which means temperature extremes occur year round and snowfall is high in winter making it a very popular destination for ski and snowboard enthusiasts.
BCas capital is the city of?Victoria?which lies on the picturesque Vancouver Island. Vancouver Islandas climate varies from Mediterranean to temperate marine. Victoria?sits in the north of?Vancouver Island?and is a year-round tourist destination. With almost 4 million visitors annually,?Victoriaas tourism business accounts for one billion dollars annually of the local economy. Victoriaas climate is moderated by the nearby waters, making conditions pretty mild year round. Occasionally, during summer, the mercury will rise over 30°C, but only on a few days in the height of summer.?In the depths of winter the thermometer may see lows of -5°C. However, this again only occurs a few times throughout the season. Winter generally sees daily maximums of about 7°C to 8°C, while summer sees maximums of about 18°C to 20°C. Rainfall in?Victoria?is at its highest in the winter months and snowfall is very minimal. Victoria?averages only 2 to 3 days annually with at least 5 cm of snow.?Victoria boasts the title of one of the sunniest places in the province - a result of a rain shadow which sees?Victoria?basking in 2,223 hours of sunlight annually.
The climate across?Canada?varies depending on proximity to the coast and the presence of mountain ranges. The East and west coasts see average highs of about 22°C to 24°C, while inland?Canada?witnesses highs in the late 20as and occasionally in the 30as. In the interior the mercury has been known to rise into the 40as on the very odd occasion during heat waves. On the flipside winters in the interior are very harsh, with snow covering the ground for up to 6 months of the year and the temperatures falling to extreme lows of -30°C to -40°C.?
Lying south of Canada
and above Mexico, with Pacific Ocean on the West, the Atlantic on the East and
the Gulf of Mexico to the south?The United
States of America?covers 10 million square kilometres and is
home to over 300 million people.?
USAplays host to basically every climatic variation under the sun. Depending on proximity to the coast and altitude, you may find yourself on a snow-capped mountain, a desert or a pine forest.
On the southwest coast of?California,?conditions are?Mediterranean?with long warm to hot summers and shorter mild winters.?San Diego, in the south of?California, has a very enjoyable climate year round - one that is very similar to the southwest coast of?Australia. The climate here is?Mediterranean?verging on subtropical.?San Diego?enjoys dry summers that begin in late May and continue right through until September with average monthly temperatures throughout the season of about 22°C.
In this part of southern?California?it is not uncommon to see the mercury rise over 30°C in the midst of summer, though you wonat have to sit in the heat for too long as the beautiful Californian beaches are nearby and the evenings are cooled by the famous?Santa Ana?winds.