What zone is alaska?

Plant Zone Map For Planting Zones

Below is a map of the United States showing the USDA planting zone classifications. Planting zones are used as guidelines to determine the hardiness and survivability of various trees and plant species in each geographic area.The hardiness zones are based on local climate. The USDA determined the zones using average annual minimum temperatures in each region. A plant’s recommended zone is based on the temperatures it can withstand, which is often congruent with the temperatures it would expect to see in its native conditions.

When ordering a tree or plant, make sure to know your planting zone. On NatureHills.com, we do our best to provide an accurate listing for each product’s recommended zone. You can determine your garden’s USDA hardiness zone using this map. It’s unwise to purchase a plant for an outdoor garden that cannot survive in your zone. However, planting a species in its recommended zone does not guarantee it will thrive. A good location is only the beginning; the rest is up to the gardener.

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USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, 2012. Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Accessed from https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov

California Planting Zones – USDA Map of California Growing Zones

Click on the image above to see a larger version.

Learn More About The Map Of USDA Hardiness Zones For Plants & Trees In California

Discovering what your planting zone for California is will help you to have a nicer garden. Because it is such a large state, California climate zones cover a wide range of temperatures.

To find the planting zone for California that you live in, simply find the area on the map above that you live in and match the color of that area to the map legend to the right. This planting zone map is based on the 2012 USDA plant hardiness map, which was adjusted for the warmer temperatures that have occurred over the past few decades.

The reason understanding what the zones for plants & trees are in California is important is because the zones will help you select the very best plants to grow in your garden. Planting flowers, vegetables, trees and other plants in your garden that are appropriate for your zone will ensure that they will grow well and will survive from one year to the next.

A well run nursery will clearly mark what zone a plant is appropriate for. You will need to find plants that will grow in your zone or less. So, for example, if you live in zone 7, you can grow any plant that lives in growing zones 7-1. Any plant that belongs to a planting zone with a larger number than the one you live in will need protection from the cold in the winter.

Sunset climate zones: Alaska


Zone AI: Alaska’s Colest Climate—Fairbanks and the Interior

Encompassing most of interior Alaska in a region between the Alaska and Brooks ranges, Zone A1 is Alaska’s gardening surprise. During summer, plants benefit from long, warm days, while in winter, gardeners can usually depend on snow to insulate plants. And in permafrost areas, the ground usually thaws to below root level during the warm months.

The keys to beating temperature extremes—with everything from strawberries to snapdragons, beans to sweet corn— include taking advantage of microclimates (especially south and west exposures), boosting soil temperatures with mulches or IRT plastic sheeting, and choosing the right plant varieties. Many birches, for example, reach nearly unparalleled proportions in Fairbanks, as do hardy perennials and a long list of annuals. It also helps to plant in raised beds, whose soil warms up earlier in spring. Average winter minimums are –10 to –20°F (–23 to –29°C),with occasional dips to –60°F (–51°C). Summer highs are in the 70s,with rare spikes to 90°F (32°C). The average growing season in Fairbanks is 113 days.

ZONE A2: The intermediate climate of Anchorage and Cook Inlet

The Alaska Range protects this area from continental extremes to the north, while the Kenai and Chugach Mountains strip most of the wind and moisture from storms blowing in from the Gulf of Alaska. The salt water of Cook Inlet moderates temperatures as well. However, seasons are well defined and permafrost hides here on north-facing slopes and in sheltered hollows.

Plants like showy mountain ash, late lilac, Siberian larch,Amur chokecherry, Swiss stone pine, and Colorado blue spruce do well in Zone A2. But success depends much on each area’s microclimate. Winter lows average 6°F (–14°C) at Anchorage Airport, 0°F (–18°C) in Palmer and Wasilla, with drops to –20 or–30°F (–29 or –34°C) once in a while. Summer days are usually cloudy and in the mid- 60s,with occasional jumps into the high 70s. The growing season ranges from 105 days on the Kenai Peninsula to 138 days in Anchorage. When sowing seeds, take note that plants grow more slowly here than seed packets indicate.You can speed annuals along by starting seed indoors a few weeks before transplant, or outdoors in a cold frame.

Anchorage microclimates: Though Anchorage is zoned A2, the city is composed of many microclimates. Each of these affects the types of plants you can grow in a particular location. Banana belts (Bootleggers Cove and southeast into downtoan for a couple of miles, for example) can be 25º F warmer in winter than the coldest neighborhoods around Bicentennial Park. But in summer, Bicentennial Park can be 10º F warmer on clear days. On cloudy days and at night, summer temperatures are similar throughout Anchorage. If you garden in one of the city’s cold pockets, grow plans zoned for A1. If you’re in a warm spot, you may succeed with plants that few people would expect to see north of Homer (A3). In moderate locations, use plants zoned for A2.

ZONE A3: The mild maritime climate from Kodiak to Juneau and Prince Rupert

This zone includes southeastern Alaska north of Sitka clear to Skagway, plus Kodiak Island, Homer, Seward, and Prince William Sound. It also touches Prince Rupert, where cold interior air drains down the Skeena River.

Summers are cool and cloudy, while winters are typically windy and rainy. Annual precipitation runs from 80 inches at Kodiak to 200 inches near Sitka. The ground freezes every winter, and repeated freeze-thaw cycles in spring play havoc with cold-hardy plants like hybrid tea roses. Hardy rhododendrons, azaleas, Japanese maples, and dwarf conifers do well here. The easiest bedding plants to grow include pansies, violas, and snapdragons. Planting in raised beds of light, sandy soil assures good drainage in wet areas and quick warm-up of soil in spring. Winter minimums average 20 to 30°F (–7 to –1°C),with occasional drops to –5°F (–21°C). Summer highs are in the low 60s,with occasional jumps to 80°F (27°C). The growing season runs from 113 days in Cordova to 162 days in Haines. But cool summer temperatures offset the advantages of summer day length. Plants take longer to grow than seed packets describe.

ZONE 4: Mild-winter areas of Alaska and British Columbia

One of the West’s most narrow, linear climates, Zone 4 runs from high in the coastal mountains of Northern California to southeastern Alaska, losing elevation as it moves north. It gets considerable influence from the Pacific Ocean, but also from the continental air mass, higher elevation, or both .As it extends north, the zone first touches salt water in northern Puget Sound and is almost entirely surrounded by salt water in southeastern Alaska.

In the contiguous states, Zone 4 has more cold than neighboring Zone 5, more snow, and a shorter growing season. Compared to neighboring zones in Alaska and Canada, however, it has less winter cold and a longer growing season. No zone grows better perennials and bulbs; people who like woodland plants and rock plants love Zone 4. But beware: though you can grow winter vegetables in the southern part of Zone 4, it doesn’t get enough winter sunlight in Alaska to sustain them.

Average winter lows in Zone 4 range from 34°F (1°C) down to 28°F (–2°C),with extreme lows averaging 8 to 0°F (–13 to –18°C). The growing season is 150 to 200 days long, but because Zone 4 summers are temperate (highs average from the low 60s to the 70s), plants take more time to develop. If you’re growing vegetables, for example, add at least 50 percent to the days-to-harvest figure listed on the seed package, or start your garden from transplants.

Alaska Temperatures

Temperatures and climate vary dramatically in Alaska

Many weather-related myths surround Alaska’s temperatures and climate. One of the most common is that Alaska temperatures in summer are cool. In fact, like much of the United States, Alaska has four seasons and weather records at both ends of the thermometer. Alaska’s summers are warm with temperatures that can reach into the 90°s. Ft. Yukon holds the all-time record with a sizzling 100°F temperature recorded in 1915. Many believe that the far northern part of Alaska would be the coldest. Actually, the record for Alaska (and the entire U.S. for that matter) was set in 1971 at Prospect Creek in the northern interior: a bone-chilling -80°F! When compared to high readings near 90°, Alaska temperatures range is an astonishing 170°.

Wasilla Lake
Photo By Dennis Zaki

Alaska’s climate is changing

The annual average temperature in Alaska has increased 3.5°F from 1949 to 2005. Temperatures have changed more in Alaska over the past 30 years than they have anywhere else on Earth: winters have warmed by a startling 5-6°F, compared with a global average of 1°F. That’s guaranteed to have dramatic effects in an Arctic landscape, where even small temperature changes can make the difference between freezing and melting. In Fairbanks, a city built on permafrost, the annual mean temperature is just 28°F. If it pops above zero, residents can say goodbye to the frozen ground beneath their feet, along with the free iceboxes in their basements. The impacts on wildlife, and the people who depend on it for their livelihoods, will be huge.

Alaska Weather and Climate

Alaska’s climate is determined by average temperatures and precipitation received statewide over many years. The extratropical storm track runs along the Aleutian Island chain, across the Alaska Peninsula, and along the coastal area of the Gulf of Alaska which exposes these parts of the state to a large majority of the storms crossing the North Pacific. The climate in Juneau and the southeast panhandle is a mid-latitude oceanic climate in the southern sections and a sub Arctic oceanic climate in the northern parts.

The climate in Southcentral Alaska is a subarctic climate due to its short, cool summers. The climate of the interior of Alaska is best described as extreme and is the best example of a true subarctic climate, as the highest and lowest recorded temperatures in Alaska have both occurred in the interior. The climate in the extreme north of Alaska is an Arctic climate with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers.

Alaska Weather Records

Lowest Temperature
-79.8° F (-62° C) at Prospect Creek on January 23, 1971.
(U.S. Record)

Highest Temperature
100° F (38° C) at Fort Yukon on June 27, 1915.

Lowest Annual Normal Temperature
9.3° F (-12.6° C) at Barrow
(U.S. Record)

Lowest Summer Normal Temperature
36.4° F (2.4° C) at Barrow
(U.S. Record)

Lowest Winter Normal Temperature
-15.7° F (-26.5° C) at Barter Island
(U.S. Record)]

Southeast Coastal Zone Climate

Due to the Pacific Ocean, the climate of this zone is distinctly maritime. This means that temperatures are relatively mild, and daily variations between the high and low readings are small, with the range between 8 to 16 degrees. Periods of subfreezing temperatures seldom extend beyond ten days duration, and minimum readings of zero to -20°F are a rare occurrence. Conversely, extremely high temperatures occur infrequently during the summer months. Temperatures reach the 80°F to 85°F range nearly every year, chiefly in June, July, and August. Yet, it is not unusual for daily maximum readings to remain in the 50s during the summer months.

In Juneau, the state capitol, extremes include a maximum of 89°F in July to a minimum of -22°F in February. This zone is located almost directly in the path of easterly moving storms that cross the Gulf of Alaska. Frequent and relatively heavy precipitation occurs, with annual amounts close to that of the immediate coastal regions of Washington and Oregon. Due to a rugged topography, precipitation amounts vary greatly in different localities, even in adjacent localities. Yakutat has an annual precipitation of around 130 inches, one of the highest in the state. June has the least precipitation of any month, while October and November are usually the wettest months. Most of the precipitation, even in the winter months, occurs in the form of rain. Some snow, mixed with rain, may fall as early as October. Snow has fallen in all months of the year except June, July, and August. However, appreciable snowfalls seldom occur after late March or before late November. Accumulated snow depths of a foot or more are infrequent and, because of moderating temperatures, snow covers seldom persist beyond a week or two. Strong southeasterly winds are frequent from October through March. Thick fogs are infrequent and of short duration.

Southwest Coastal Zone Temperatures

This zone has a climate rather similar to that of the Southeast Coast, except that precipitation, though frequent, is not as abundant. Due to the moderating effects of the ocean, it is difficult to define any seasonal periods. The beginning of spring is in late May or early June. August is regarded as the midsummer period and autumn arrives in early October. Fog occurs frequently in the summer season, with the foggy period extending from mid-July to mid-September. During the winter months, visibility is often restricted due to blowing snow.

Southern Zone Climate

The climate in the western and southern sections of this zone is more maritime than continental in character, and that modifies the daily temperature extremes. Northern and eastern sections are predominantly continental. However, there are usually two periods during the year when the entire zone is affected by the continental climate. In June and July, temperatures rise noticeably under the influence of warmer continental air, and around late December and early January, the cold, clear continental air becomes quite dominant. Another aspect of this zone is its highly varied terrain, which exerts pronounced effects on local weather and climate. This is especially true for a place like Anchorage, where large temperature and precipitation variations can occur over relatively short distances. The four seasons are well marked.

In the summer, high temperatures average in the 60s and low temperatures in the 50s. Temperatures in the 70s are considered very warm; seldom do high temperatures ever reach the lower or middle 80s. Rain increases after mid-June. Most days in July and August are cloudy and at least one third of them have rain. August through October is the wettest time of the year for most sections. Autumn is brief, beginning in early September and ending in mid-October. Temperatures begin to fall in September, with snow becoming more frequent in October. The average date of the last snow is mid-April, but may be as late as early May. Temperatures steadily decrease into January, when the highs are near 20°F and the lows near 5°F. The coldest weather is normally in January, when very cold days have high temperatures below zero. Average temperatures throughout the entire winter, however, are considerably higher than those experienced in the Alaskan interior (North Central zone). Mild days with temperatures in the 30s do occur. Annual snowfalls vary from about 60 to 90 inches. Freezing rain is extremely rare. Heavy fogs are infrequent and of short duration, but patchy ground fog is common during the spring and fall. In general, ice fog does not occur. Spring begins in late April and early May, when days are warm and sunny, nights are cool, and precipitation amounts are exceedingly small. Foliage turns green in most sections by late May/early June. For most sections, the average occurrence of the last freeze in spring is during the second half of May, while the first in fall is during the first half of September.

Northern Arctic Zone Temperatures

Temperatures usually remain below the freezing point for most of the year, with daily maximums reaching higher than 32°F an average of 110 days per year. Freezing temperatures have been observed every month of the year. February is generally the coldest month. March temperatures are warmer than those observed in the other winter months, and in April, temperatures begin a general upward trend. May is a definite transitional period, and July is the warmest month of the year. During late July or early August, the Arctic Ocean usually becomes ice-free for the summer. High readings of 70°F or above have occurred on rare occasions.

The end of the short summer is reached in September. By November, about half of the daily mean temperatures are either zero or below. Thanks to a modifying effect of the ocean, the long Arctic night temperatures of the immediate coastal areas do not drop to the extreme low readings reached in the Alaskan interior. Snow covers the ground about eight months of the year, and usually falls every month of the year.For Barrow – the most northerly first-order station operated by the National Weather Service-every year the sun dips below the horizon at 12:50 p.m. on November 18, and is not seen again until 11:51 a.m. on January 24. From the 24th on, the amount of daylight increases by more than 9 minutes per day. By 1:06 a.m. on May 10, daylight has increased to 24 hours per day. The sun remains visible from that time until August 2, when it begins to set again for 1 hour and 25 minutes. The decrease in hours of daylight is as rapid as the increase. For all other areas in this zone, the sun remains below the horizon from late November until mid-January, and continuous daylight runs from the middle of May through the end of July.

Alaska Temperatures by Month

Summer Temperatures

Alaska Precipitation by Month


Here’s the Alaska NOAA weather website for more information.


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