The climate of North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park
, located in Washington
, USA, falls under the Dfc classification in the Köppen climate system. This indicates the local prominence of a subarctic climate, characterized by severe winters, absence of a dry season, and a cool summer. Alongside the geographical position, these elements contribute to a unique climatic pattern throughout the year.
An examination of the yearly climatic data of the park unveils a tale of considerable diversity. Average high temperatures fluctuate from 30°F (-1.1°C) in the coldest months of January
, gradually climbing to peak at 70°F (21.1°C) in the summer months of July
. The lowest average temperatures follow a similar pattern, beginning at a chilly 18°F (-7.8°C) in January and December, and rising to a mild 45°F (7.2°C) in July and August.
Rainfall distribution remains relatively consistent across the year, with the park seeing the heaviest rainfall in the colder months. The highest precipitation is recorded in December with 7.8" (198mm), and the lowest in July and August with 1.7" (43mm). In terms of daylight hours, July sees the most sunshine, with an impressive 16.1 hours of daylight, while December trudges behind with just 8.4 hours.
The best time to visit North Cascades National Park
From a climatic perspective, the most favorable time for visiting North Cascades National Park
would be in July
. During these months, the park records the warmest temperatures, ranging from 45°F (7.2°C) to 70°F (21.1°C), and the least precipitation, at 1.7" (43mm). Visitors can also enjoy lengthy daylight hours, extending to 16.1 hours, allowing ample time to enjoy the park’s vibrant biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes. The UV index reaches its maximum level of seven in these months, necessitating the use of protective measures, especially for those sensitive to sunlight.
The worst time to visit North Cascades National Park
In contrast, the least favorable period for exploring the park is arguably the winter months of late November
to early March
. During this period, temperatures can fall between 18°F (-7.8°C) to 36°F (2.2°C), compounded by heavy precipitation peaking at 7.8" (198mm) in December
. The park also experiences the shortest period of daylight, diminishing to a scanty 8.4 hours in December. Consequently, these conditions may render outdoor activities and exploration challenging.
Spring weather in North Cascades National Park
The spring season in the North Cascades National Park
is a time of moderate warmth and gradual transition. March
, and May
see average high temperatures moving from 41°F (5°C) to 55°F (12.8°C), and low temperatures from 25°F (-3.9°C) to 36°F (2.2°C). Precipitation decreases throughout spring, starting from 4.6" (117mm) in March and reducing to 2.4" (61mm) in May. Daylight hours extend during the season, from 11.9 hours in March to 15.3 hours in May.
Summer weather in North Cascades National Park
As summer settles in, the park experiences its warmest and brightest period. June
, and August
witness high temperatures averaging between 63°F (17.2°C) to 70°F (21.1°C) and low temperatures around 41°F (5°C) to 45°F (7.2°C). These months are also the driest with precipitation levels dropping from 2.2" (56mm) in June to 1.7" (43mm) in July and August. An abundance of daylight, up to 16.1 hours, marks the summer, making it an optimal time for outdoor activities.
Autumn weather in North Cascades National Park
With the onset of autumn, the temperatures within North Cascades National Park
take a downward turn. September
, and November
see high temperatures move from an appreciable 61°F (16.1°C) in September, decreasing to a chilly 36°F (2.2°C) in November. Low temperatures mirror this trend, from 39°F (3.9°C) to 25°F (-3.9°C) during the same period. Rainfall increases during these months, growing from 2.5" (64mm) in September to 7.4" (188mm) in November.
Winter weather in North Cascades National Park
Winter sets a cold climate within the North Cascades National Park
, with high temperatures dropping as low as 30°F (-1.1°C) in both December
, before inching up to 36°F (2.2°C) in February
. Low temperatures follow a similar pattern, nudging between 18°F (-7.8°C) and 21°F (-6.1°C). Rainfall is considerable during these months, cresting in December at 7.8" (198mm). Along with reduced daylight hours - down to a mere 8.4 hours in December - the weather conditions can pose challenges to outdoor activities.
Weather in January
in North Cascades National Park
is frequently accompanied by varying degrees of cold weather. Temperatures fluctuate from 18°F (-7.8°C) to 30°F (-1.1°C) making it a chilly start to the year. It is the coldest month of the year, and while the park remains exquisitely beautiful under a blanket of snow, it’s important to dress in layer and be prepared for icy conditions. Weather in January »
Weather in February
, the freezing conditions of the previous month continue to dominate in North Cascades National Park
. However, there is a gentle increase in temperature, with daylight hours also slightly lengthening. The weather maintains its winter characteristics, dropping snow on the peaks of the mountains. Weather in February »
Weather in March
sees a gentle transition from winter to spring, with milder temperatures and an increase in daylight hours signifying the beginning of a new season. Although the temperatures continue to rise, the weather remains cool. The park begins to explode with spring greenery as snow melts away from the lower elevations. Weather in March »
Weather in April
comes with significant changes that start to transform the landscape of North Cascades National Park
. The temperature swings between 28°F (-2.2°C) to 48°F (8.9°C) and there is a distinct warmth in the air and in the increasing sunshine hours. Weather in April »
Weather in May
The arrival of May
further enhances the outdoor potential of North Cascades National Park
. Temperature increases from the previous month are distinctly noticeable, and spring continues to flourish across the region. The park, warmed by increased sunshine hours, blossoms with a vibrant mix of wildflowers taking over the once snow-covered trails. Weather in May »
Weather in June
sets the stage for ideal hiking conditions in North Cascades National Park
, with minimal rainfall and a mere 11 rainy days. There’s a marked increase in temperatures bringing much-needed warmth. This period represents the pivot towards summer, with longer daylight hours and a notable rise in UV index. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is North Cascades National Park
's warmest month, marked by high temperatures that peak at 70°F (21.1°C). The weather adds a layer of sparkling warmth to the otherwise chilly park. Longer sunshine hours and the highest UV index of the year make it prime time for hiking and backcountry camping. Weather in July »
Weather in August
with the temperature also reaching a maximum average of 70°F (21.1°C). The park’s weather, however, remains predictably sunny and warm, providing excellent conditions for exploring and enjoying its majestic landscape. Weather in August »
Weather in September
, the weather starts to cool down from the highs of the previous two months in North Cascades National Park
. The reduction in temperature signals the approaching autumn season. Despite the cooler air, there’s still plenty of daylight and sunshine hours permitting a multitude of outdoor activities. Weather in September »
Weather in October
Weather in November
Weather in December
, winter is in full swing at North Cascades National Park
. The weather is dominated by low temperatures from 18°F (-7.8°C) to 30°F (-1.1°C) and shorter days. This period is characterized by increased precipitation and more rainy days, reaching the highest levels compared to the rest of the months. Weather in December »