This report describes the typical weather at the Fairbanks International Airport (Fairbanks, Alaska, United States) weather station over the course of an average year. It is based on the historical records from 1974 to 2012. Earlier records are either unavailable or unreliable.
Fairbanks, Alaska has a humid subarctic continental climate with cool summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by forests (96%) and lakes and rivers (3%).
Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from -16°F to 73°F and is rarely below -40°F or above 82°F.
The warm season lasts from May 11 to September 10 with an average daily high temperature above 58°F. The hottest day of the year is July 9, with an average high of 73°F and low of 54°F.
The cold season lasts from November 8 to February 26 with an average daily high temperature below 14°F. The coldest day of the year is January 6, with an average low of -16°F and high of -1°F.
The length of the day varies significantly over the course of the year. The shortest day is December 21 with 3:45 hours of daylight; the longest day is June 20 with 21:45 hours of daylight.
The earliest sunrise is at 2:59am on June 14 and the latest sunset is at 12:47am on June 26. The latest sunrise is at 11:00am on December 27 and the earliest sunset is at 2:39pm on December 14.
Daylight savings time (DST) is observed in this location during 2012, starting in the spring on March 11 and ending in the fall on November 4.
The median cloud cover ranges from 64% (partly cloudy) to 94% (mostly cloudy). The sky is cloudiest on October 8 and clearest on March 13. The clearer part of the year begins around January 21. The cloudier part of the year begins around May 1.
On March 13, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 55% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 44% of the time.
On October 8, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast, mostly cloudy, or partly cloudy 79% of the time, and clear or mostly clear 20% of the time.
The probability that precipitation will be observed at this location varies throughout the year. Precipitation is most likely around November 7, occurring in 60% of days. Precipitation is least likely around April 5, occurring in 32% of days.
Over the entire year, the most common forms of precipitation are light snow, light rain, and moderate rain.
Light snow is the most severe precipitation observed during 49% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around November 25, when it is observed during 49% of all days.
Light rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 27% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around August 12, when it is observed during 36% of all days.
Moderate rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 11% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around August 15, when it is observed during 14% of all days.
During the warm season, which lasts from May 11 to September 10, there is a 51% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (57% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), moderate rain (21%), thunderstorms (14%), and light snow (6%).
During the cold season, which lasts from November 8 to February 26, there is a 53% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light snow (83% of days with precipitation have at worst light snow) and moderate snow (12%).
The likelihood of snow falling is highest around November 22, occurring in 58% of days. The season in which it is relatively likely for snow to fall spans from September 20 to April 22.
During peak snow season, accumulation at this location on a given day is likely. The chances of there being snow on the ground are highest around February 16, occurring 67% of the time. The season in which snow is relatively likely to be on the ground spans from October 7 to April 27.
The snow is typically at its deepest on February 17, with a median depth of 20.5"; the depth exceeds 30.7" only one year out of ten.
The relative humidity typically ranges from 29% (dry) to 92% (very humid) over the course of the year, rarely dropping below 18% (dry) and reaching as high as 99% (very humid).
The air is driest around May 16, at which time the relative humidity drops below 34% (comfortable) three days out of four; it is most humid around August 23, exceeding 89% (very humid) three days out of four.
Dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find the weather than relative humidity because it more directly relates to whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid.
Over the course of a year, the dew point typically varies from -20°F (dry) to 54°F (very comfortable) and is rarely below -39°F (dry) or above 59°F (comfortable).
The time of the year between June 20 and August 21 is the most comfortable, with dew points that are neither too dry nor too muggy.
Over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 14 mph (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 20 mph (fresh breeze).
The highest average wind speed of 7 mph (light breeze) occurs around May 11, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 14 mph (moderate breeze).
The lowest average wind speed of 2 mph (light air) occurs around December 25, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 mph (light breeze).