Portal:Alaska

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Alaska (/əˈlæskə/; Russian: Аляска "Alyaska") is an exclave and a state of the United States of America located west of Canada in the extreme northwest portion of North America. A state of superlatives, it has the largest area, the highest mountain and greatest difference in elevation, the most extensive wilderness, and the most lakes, shoreline, and wetlands of any state. Conversely, it has the lowest population density.

The Secretary of the Interior purchased from the Czar of Russia its interest in the area that became Alaska on October 18, 1867, for $7,200,000 in gold bullion. The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized territory in 1912. Alaska became the 49th state of the United States on January 3, 1959.

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Alaska covered by snow in the winter.

The climate of Alaska 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. Onshore flow into the various mountain chains across the state leads to significant spatial variability in precipitation, with snowfall constituting a bulk of the annual precipitation each year. The climate in Juneau and the southeast panhandle is a mid-latitude oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb) in the southern sections and a sub Arctic oceanic climate (Köppen Cfc) in the northern parts. The climate in Southcentral Alaska is a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) 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 (Köppen ET) with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers.

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