FORT GREELY WEATHER: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN MOVING HERE
IntroductionNo matter what time of year you arrive at Fort Greely, it’ll probably be time to break out the heavy clothing and bundle up tight. Its location deep in the Alaskan wilderness makes this post a thrilling and adventurous one to be stationed at. But it also means that you’ll be living in some of the most extreme cold weather conditions present within the United States. And even in the warmer months, the daily temperatures can fluctuate wildly. So being prepared for the weather at Fort Greely is extremely important when moving here.
Suggested Read:Fort Greely Alaska: In-Depth Welcome Center
High Temps: High 20s to Low 60s
Low Temps: Negative single digits to High 30s Despite the generally cold nature of the local climate, spring days in Fort Greely can be far from unbearable. Temperatures can reach the high 40s in the early part of the season and climb up to the low 60s as summer draws near. But don’t let the nice days fool you, the lows are still pretty low. Snow often falls nearly until the start of summer and the daily lows in the early days of the season can still be negative numbers. Though they usually rise into the high 30s by the end of May. The final weeks of spring also mark the beginning of several months where the sun never truly sets, with only brief periods of twilight between days.
High Temps: Mid 60s to Low 70s
Low Temps: Low to Mid 40s The summers in Fort Greely are often quite temperate, which can be quite a surprise to those who’ve never been to Alaska. The area sees very little precipitation in general so there isn’t much rain to contend with in the summer months. So this is a great time of year to enjoy the grand natural splendor that life up here affords. That said, lows can still dip down into the 40s so keep a coat on hand at the very least. This is also an extremely bright time of year, with the sun fully shining over 20 hours on some July days.
High Temps: Low teens to Mid 50s
Low Temps: Low 30s to negative single digits The temperatures drop off very quickly as summer ends. By the end of September, the daily highs have already gone down into the 30s and the lows are in the negative numbers by November. October and November are also typically the months where most snow is seen, with an average of just under a foot falling in each of them. The days also begin to shorten at a quick, steady rate.
High Temps: Mid single digits to mid teens
Low Temps: Negative single digits to negative teens Winters at Fort Greely are extremely cold, with the lows consistently below 0 and the highs never often straying into double digits above it. Temperatures have even been recorded as low as the -60s. But there’s usually not much precipitation, with rarely more than a few inches of snow each month, so it's generally a dry cold. And the winters also bring the spectacular sights of aurora borealis to light up the clear night skies. This is also the darkest time of year, with some days in December seeing less than five hours of sunlight.
Field and Training ExpectationsIf you’re up here for training, that means you’re up here to train specifically in the characteristically extreme conditions present at Fort Greely. And for those stationed here full-time, the normal, everyday training and conditioning that comes with military life is made even more difficult by the extreme weather. So duty in a place like this is a great way to build up physical and mental strength. The post is, after all, the “Home of the Rugged Professional." So cold weather gear is an absolute necessity. Heavy socks and multiple warming layers should be in plentiful supply whenever you head to the field. Remember that, when choosing warm clothes, wool is always best as it keeps you warm even if it gets wet. Synthetic fleeces and the like will also do, but cotton will do little to keep you comfortable in cold weather.
ConclusionThere’s no way around it, life at Fort Greely is challenging. But that’s the whole point of having a military post in such a place. The Soldiers, and others, who spend time here will come out the other end with a level of mental and physical toughness that many at their next station will envy deeply. And as long as you take the proper precautions to stay safe and stay warm while you’re here, you’ll find the beautiful surroundings under the Northern Lights well worth the chilly weather.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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