Buckland, Alaska Weather by Month

By | May 9, 2003

Buckland, a small community in northwest Alaska, lies on the western coast of the state along the Buckland River. Located approximately 75 miles southeast of Kotzebue, Buckland is part of the Northwest Arctic Borough. This remote village is located amidst the stunning wilderness of Alaska’s tundra landscape, offering residents and visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich indigenous culture and rugged natural beauty.

Geography

Buckland is located at approximately 65.9789° N latitude and 161.1267° W longitude, on the western shores of Alaska. The village is surrounded by vast expanses of tundra, with the Buckland River flowing nearby. The region’s geography is characterized by rolling hills, meandering rivers, and a coastline dotted with rocky outcrops and sandy beaches. Buckland’s remote location and pristine wilderness make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure in Alaska’s untamed wilderness.

Population

As of the latest census data, Buckland has a population of around 416 residents, predominantly made up of indigenous Inupiat people. The village is a close-knit community where residents rely on subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering for their livelihoods. Traditional cultural practices and values are deeply rooted in Buckland’s way of life, contributing to the village’s unique identity and sense of community.

Major Landmarks

While Buckland is a small village, it boasts several major landmarks and points of interest that reflect its cultural heritage and natural surroundings. The Buckland River, which flows through the heart of the village, serves as a lifeline for residents, providing sustenance and transportation. The village’s community center and school play central roles in daily life, hosting cultural events, gatherings, and educational activities. Additionally, Buckland is surrounded by breathtaking wilderness areas, including the Baird Mountains and the vast expanse of the Arctic tundra, which offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Climate and Weather Overview

Average Climate Statistics

Buckland experiences a subarctic climate, characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. The village’s proximity to the Arctic Circle influences its weather patterns, with extreme temperature fluctuations and limited daylight hours during the winter months. Precipitation is relatively low throughout the year, primarily falling as snow during the winter and as rain in the summer months.

Table 1: Average Monthly Climate Statistics for Buckland, Alaska

Month Average Temperature (°F) Precipitation (inches) Sunny Days
January -10°F 0.27 inches 2
February -7°F 0.22 inches 3
March -3°F 0.21 inches 5
April 13°F 0.20 inches 9
May 33°F 0.31 inches 13
June 49°F 0.64 inches 13
July 54°F 1.22 inches 12
August 52°F 1.29 inches 11
September 41°F 0.98 inches 7
October 26°F 0.61 inches 3
November 5°F 0.40 inches 2
December -6°F 0.30 inches 1

Weather by Month

January

January in Buckland is bitterly cold, with average temperatures plummeting to -10°F. The month experiences minimal precipitation, primarily in the form of light snowfall, with an average of 0.27 inches. Outdoor activities during January are limited due to the extreme cold, but residents may still enjoy traditional winter pursuits such as ice fishing and snowmobiling. Indoor activities like storytelling, crafting, and community gatherings provide warmth and companionship during the long winter nights.

February

February brings slightly milder temperatures to Buckland, with average lows around -7°F. Precipitation levels remain low, with an average of 0.22 inches. Despite the cold weather, residents may venture outdoors to engage in activities such as ice skating, skiing, and dog sledding. Cultural events, such as drumming circles and potlucks, provide opportunities for community members to come together and celebrate their shared heritage.

March

March marks the transition to spring in Buckland, with average temperatures rising to -3°F. The month sees minimal precipitation, with an average of 0.21 inches. As daylight hours begin to increase, residents may venture outdoors to enjoy activities such as snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, and collecting spring greens. Traditional ceremonies and festivals may take place to welcome the arrival of spring and honor the changing seasons.

April

April brings significant changes to Buckland’s weather, with average temperatures rising to 13°F. Precipitation levels remain low, with an average of 0.20 inches. The arrival of spring heralds the return of longer days and the gradual melting of snow and ice. Residents may take advantage of the milder weather to engage in activities such as birdwatching, gardening, and berry picking. Cultural events and workshops may focus on traditional skills such as sewing, carving, and storytelling.

May

May brings warmer temperatures to Buckland, with average highs reaching 33°F. Precipitation levels increase slightly, with an average of 0.31 inches. The thawing landscape bursts into life, with vibrant wildflowers blooming across the tundra. Residents may spend time outdoors hiking, fishing, and gathering traditional foods such as salmon and berries. Community events and gatherings may revolve around activities such as drum dancing, storytelling, and sharing traditional foods.

June

June marks the beginning of summer in Buckland, with average temperatures rising to 49°F. Precipitation levels increase, with an average of 0.64 inches. The long days of the midnight sun provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and camping. Residents may participate in cultural events such as traditional games, feasts, and ceremonies to celebrate the summer solstice and honor the land and wildlife.

July

July brings mild temperatures to Buckland, with average highs peaking at 54°F. The month sees increased precipitation, with an average of 1.22 inches. Residents may take advantage of the warmer weather to engage in activities such as fishing, berry picking, and hunting. Cultural events and festivals may highlight traditional practices such as drum dancing, storytelling, and feasting on seasonal foods.

August

August continues the trend of mild temperatures in Buckland, with average highs remaining at 52°F. Precipitation levels remain high, with an average of 1.29 inches. Residents may spend time outdoors enjoying activities such as boating, berry picking, and exploring the surrounding wilderness areas. Cultural events and workshops may focus on traditional crafts, music, and dance, providing opportunities for community members to connect and share their cultural heritage.

September

September brings cooler temperatures to Buckland, with average highs dropping to 41°F. Precipitation levels remain relatively high, with an average of 0.98 inches. The changing colors of the tundra signal the arrival of autumn, and residents may spend time outdoors hiking, fishing, and hunting for game such as caribou and ptarmigan. Cultural events may focus on the harvest season, with gatherings to share traditional foods and stories.

October

October heralds the arrival of winter in Buckland, with average temperatures dropping to 26°F. Precipitation levels decrease, with an average of 0.61 inches. The landscape transforms as the first snowfall blankets the tundra, and residents may prepare for the coming winter by gathering supplies and preparing traditional foods for storage. Indoor activities such as storytelling, sewing, and crafting provide opportunities for community members to come together and pass down traditional knowledge and skills.

November

November brings frigid temperatures to Buckland, with average highs reaching just 5°F. Precipitation levels remain low, with an average of 0.40 inches. The village prepares for the long winter ahead, with residents stocking up on supplies and completing necessary repairs to homes and infrastructure. Indoor activities such as community feasts, drumming circles, and crafting provide warmth and companionship during the dark and cold days of late autumn.

December

December ushers in the depths of winter in Buckland, with average temperatures plummeting to -6°F. The month experiences minimal precipitation, with an average of 0.30 inches. Residents may spend the month indoors, enjoying activities such as storytelling, crafting, and preparing traditional foods for holiday celebrations. Cultural events may focus on the winter solstice, with ceremonies to welcome the return of the sun and celebrate the turning of the seasons.

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