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Average Weather in December at Bettles Airport Alaska, United States

Daily high temperatures decrease by 2°F, from 2°F to -0°F, rarely falling below -24°F or exceeding 21°F.

Daily low temperatures decrease by 3°F, from -11°F to -15°F, rarely falling below -40°F or exceeding 10°F.

For reference, on June 29, the hottest day of the year, temperatures at Bettles Airport typically range from 51°F to 71°F, while on January 18, the coldest day of the year, they range from -17°F to -2°F.

Average High and Low Temperature in December

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on December. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature in December

Average Hourly Temperature in December at Bettles Airport18152229112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMNovJanfrigid
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Kogalym, Russia (3,221 miles away) and Tosontsengel, Mongolia (3,663 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Bettles Airport (view comparison).

Clouds

The month of December at Bettles Airport experiences essentially constant cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy remaining about 62% throughout the month. The highest chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 64% on December 9.

The clearest day of the month is December 1, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 40% of the time.

For reference, on September 24, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 65%, while on March 6, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 48%.

Cloud Cover Categories in December

Cloud Cover Categories in December at Bettles Airport1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%NovJanMar 648%Mar 648%Dec 140%Dec 140%Dec 3140%Dec 3140%Dec 1137%Dec 1137%Dec 2137%Dec 2137%clearmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudyovercast
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. At Bettles Airport, the chance of a wet day over the course of December is gradually increasing, starting the month at 12% and ending it at 14%.

For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 34% on August 1, and its lowest chance is 8% on March 19.

Probability of Precipitation in December

The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Snowfall

We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. As with rainfall, we consider the liquid-equivalent snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.

The average sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall during December at Bettles Airport is essentially constant, remaining about 0.7 inches throughout, and rarely exceeding 1.4 inches or falling below 0.1 inches.

The highest average 31-day liquid-equivalent accumulation is 0.7 inches on December 31.

Average Monthly Liquid-Equivalent Snowfall in December

The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Sun

Due to its extreme latitude, Bettles Airport experiences polar day (also known as the midnight Sun) during the summer. The precise start and end dates of polar day and night vary from year to year and depend on the precise location and elevation of the observer, and the local topography.

Neither polar day nor polar night occur during the month of December.

Over the course of December at Bettles Airport, the length of the day is rapidly decreasing. From the start to the end of the month, the length of the day decreases by 1 hour, 13 minutes, implying an average daily decrease of 2 minutes, 27 seconds, and weekly decrease of 17 minutes, 9 seconds.

The shortest day of the month is December 21, with 1 hour, 39 minutes of daylight and the longest day is December 1, with 3 hours, 25 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in December

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in December at Bettles Airport1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hrNovJanDec 211 hr, 39 minDec 211 hr, 39 minDec 13 hr, 25 minDec 13 hr, 25 min
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise of the month at Bettles Airport is 11:12 AM on December 1 and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 3 minutes later at 12:15 PM on December 22.

The latest sunset is 2:37 PM on December 1 and the earliest sunset is 44 minutes earlier at 1:53 PM on December 20.

Daylight saving time is observed at Bettles Airport during 2019, but it neither starts nor ends during December, so the entire month is in standard time.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in December

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in December at Bettles Airport1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031312 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMNovJan11:12 AM11:12 AMDec 12:37 PMDec 12:37 PM12:14 PM12:14 PMDec 201:53 PMDec 201:53 PMDec 312:14 PMDec 312:14 PMSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of December. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The chance that a given day will be muggy at Bettles Airport is essentially constant during December, remaining around 0% throughout.

For reference, on April 27, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time, while on January 1, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time.

Humidity Comfort Levels in December

dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed at Bettles Airport is essentially constant during December, remaining within 0.2 miles per hour of 7.6 miles per hour throughout.

For reference, on January 9, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 8.1 miles per hour, while on August 21, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 5.5 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed in December

The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.
The hourly average wind direction at Bettles Airport throughout December is predominantly from the east, with a peak proportion of 70% on December 18.

Wind Direction in December

Wind Direction in December at Bettles Airport1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%NovJaneastnorthwest
northeastsouthwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions, excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1.0 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Growing Season

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season at Bettles Airport typically lasts for 3.2 months (99 days), from around May 21 to around August 28, rarely starting before May 5 or after June 7, and rarely ending before August 10 or after September 17.

The month of December at Bettles Airport is reliably fully outside of the growing season.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in December

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in December at Bettles Airport1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%NovJan0%Dec 160%Dec 16frigidfreezing
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

The average accumulated growing degree days at Bettles Airport are essentially constant during December, remaining around 886°F throughout.

Growing Degree Days in December

The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of December, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy at Bettles Airport is essentially constant during December, remaining around 0.0 kWh throughout.

The lowest average daily incident shortwave solar energy during December is 0.0 kWh on December 22.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in December

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in December at Bettles Airport1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.00 kWh0.05 kWh0.10 kWh0.15 kWh0.20 kWh0.25 kWh0.30 kWh0.35 kWh0.40 kWh0.45 kWh0.50 kWh0.55 kWh0.60 kWhNovJanDec 220.0 kWhDec 220.0 kWhDec 10.0 kWhDec 10.0 kWh
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Bettles Airport are 66.915 deg latitude, -151.528 deg longitude, and 643 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Bettles Airport contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 223 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 642 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (2,408 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (5,456 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Bettles Airport is covered by shrubs (50%) and trees (45%), within 10 miles by shrubs (51%) and trees (41%), and within 50 miles by shrubs (62%) and trees (23%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather at Bettles Airport year round, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

Bettles Airport has a weather station that reported reliably enough during the analysis period that we have included it in our network. When available, historical temperature and dew point measurements are taken directly from this weather station. These records are obtained from NOAA's Integrated Surface Hourly data set, falling back on ICAO METAR records as required.

In the case of missing or erroneous measurements from this station, we fall back on records from nearby stations, adjusted according to typical seasonal and diurnal intra-station differences. For a given day of the year and hour of the day, the fallback station is selected to minimize the prediction error over the years for which there are measurements for both stations.

The stations on which we may fall back are Ralph M Calhoun Memorial Airport and Indian Mountain Long Range Radar Site.

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.