Current weather from remote weather stations located in and around Lake Clark National Park and Preserve maintained by the NPS Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network (SWAN). Stations are strategically located in the park's interior at Stoney River, Snipe Lake and Port Alsworth. One site at Hickerson Lake records coastal weather. Another site on the coast at Silver Salmon Creek will be installed in the summer of 2013. One site, high in the Chigmit Mountains, captures data at elevation. For more information on SWAN climate monitoring programs, click here.
Port Alsworth Weather Quick Facts
Average Summer Temperatures: 50° to 65° F
Weather in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Collision of marine air masses from the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska with continental air masses from Alaska's interior gives the Lake Clark/Iliamna Lake area extremely variable weather patterns. Alaska Geographic Volume 13, Number 4.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve has two distinct climate areas: the damp coast and the drier interior. The coast is often foggy and wet, with an average annual rainfall of 40 to 80 inches. The interior averages only 17 to 26 inches. The same weather systems that bring precipitation to the coast also bring milder winters; the interior often suffers temperatures as low as -40 degrees F.
Visitors to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve might bask in warm, gentle sunshine, be pummeled by fierce storms, or get soaked by rain. Weather conditions can change rapidly, and the mountainous terrain channels fierce winds. Gusts in the 30-50 mph range are not uncommon.
Frost and snow can occur any time, but are most common from September to early June. Lake Clark typically begins freezing in November and melts in April. Ice conditions dictate whether planes on floats or skis can land.
In general, visitors should be prepared to experience a number of different weather conditions during their stay in Lake Clark. Sturdy raingear and waterproof footwear are a must, and smart travelers make sure to layer clothing.
Did You Know?
Caribou often travel high into the mountains in the summer to rest on patches of remaining snow and ice, where they can escape clouds of biting insects.