This report describes the typical weather at the Ralph Wien Memorial Airport (Kotzebue, Alaska, United States) weather station over the course of an average year. It is based on the historical records from 2001 to 2012. Earlier records are either unavailable or unreliable.
Kotzebue, 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 oceans and seas (64%) and tundra (34%).
Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from -12°F to 60°F and is rarely below -32°F or above 68°F.
The warm season lasts from June 7 to September 18 with an average daily high temperature above 48°F. The hottest day of the year is July 16, with an average high of 60°F and low of 51°F.
The cold season lasts from December 5 to March 31 with an average daily high temperature below 12°F. The coldest day of the year is January 16, with an average low of -12°F and high of 0°F.
The length of the day varies significantly over the course of the year. The shortest day is December 21 with 1:41 hours of daylight; the longest day is June 20 with 24:00 hours of daylight.
Due to its extreme latitude, Kotzebue, Alaska experiences polar day (also known as the midnight Sun) during summer. The precise start and end dates of polar day vary from year to year and depend on the precise location and elevation of the observer, and the local topography.
In summer, the Sun is continuously above the horizon for 34 days, from June 3 to July 7.
Daylight saving 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 56% (partly cloudy) to 89% (mostly cloudy). The sky is cloudiest on August 19 and clearest on February 23. The clearer part of the year begins around December 12. The cloudier part of the year begins around April 17.
On February 23, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 49% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 42% of the time.
On August 19, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast, mostly cloudy, or partly cloudy 85% of the time, and clear or mostly clear 14% of the time.
The probability that precipitation will be observed at this location varies throughout the year. Precipitation is most likely around November 25, occurring in 58% of days. Precipitation is least likely around June 10, occurring in 35% of days.
Over the entire year, the most common forms of precipitation are light snow and light rain.
Light snow is the most severe precipitation observed during 52% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around December 3, when it is observed during 48% of all days.
Light rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 29% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around August 7, when it is observed during 38% of all days.
During the warm season, which lasts from June 7 to September 18, there is a 44% 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 (75% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain) and moderate rain (15%).
During the cold season, which lasts from December 5 to March 31, there is a 48% 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 (81% of days with precipitation have at worst light snow), moderate snow (13%), and heavy snow (5%).
The likelihood of snow falling is highest around December 13, occurring in 56% of days. The season in which it is relatively likely for snow to fall spans from September 27 to May 22.
Either snow rarely accumulates at this location or snow depth measurements are unavailable or unreliable.
The relative humidity typically ranges from 62% (mildly humid) to 93% (very humid) over the course of the year, rarely dropping below 46% (comfortable) and reaching as high as 100% (very humid).
The air is driest around June 25, at which time the relative humidity drops below 72% (humid) three days out of four; it is most humid around August 7, exceeding 90% (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 -18°F (dry) to 52°F (very comfortable) and is rarely below -36°F (dry) or above 58°F (comfortable).
The time of the year between July 2 and August 19 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 20 mph (calm to fresh breeze), rarely exceeding 34 mph (high wind).
The highest average wind speed of 13 mph (moderate breeze) occurs around November 30, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 20 mph (fresh breeze).
The lowest average wind speed of 9 mph (gentle breeze) occurs around April 1, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 15 mph (moderate breeze).