Yesterday UAF's International Arctic Research Center announced a new website tool for exploring the wind climate of recent decades across Alaska, as well as projected changes to wind behavior in the rest of this century. It's a nice resource for learning about wind in many of Alaska's inhabited places, with data available from 67 sites.
The aspect that interests me the most is the monthly wind rose visualization; this is a great way to see how wind typically varies through the year in different places. For instance, the diagrams from Utqiaġvik, Deadhorse, and Kaktovik show interesting differences that I wasn't fully aware of until now. Click to enlarge the images below.
At Utqiaġvik, easterly to northeasterly winds are strongly dominant at all times of the year, with the preferred direction being east-northeast from September through May, and east in June through August. But at the two sites farther east along the Arctic coast, the wind rose is strongly bi-directional in most months: mostly ENE or WSW at Deadhorse, and approximately WNW or E at Kaktovik. It's amazing how reliable the ENE direction is in Deadhorse in May through July; the same is true for the easterlies in Kaktovik in May and June.
Another spot with a remarkably reliable wind regime is Unalakleet in the winter; it's basically all easterlies all the time, and often quite strong. In this case the wind regime is localized, being created by cold air flowing down the Kaltag Portage from the interior.