Average Weather in May in Barrow Alaska, United States
Daily high temperatures increase by 16°F, from 18°F to 34°F, rarely falling below 7°F or exceeding 41°F.
Daily low temperatures increase by 19°F, from 7°F to 27°F, rarely falling below -5°F or exceeding 33°F.
For reference, on July 27, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Barrow typically range from 36°F to 47°F, while on January 25, the coldest day of the year, they range from -19°F to -8°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in May
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on May. 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 May
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
Terskol, Russia (4,470 miles away); Tosontsengel, Mongolia (3,381 miles); and McMurdo Station, Antarctica (10,421 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Barrow (view comparison).
The month of May in Barrow experiences decreasing cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy decreasing from 83% to 73%.
The clearest day of the month is May 31, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 27% of the time.
For reference, on January 22, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 96%, while on June 11, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 30%.
Cloud Cover Categories in May
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Barrow, the chance of a wet day over the course of May is gradually increasing, starting the month at 4% and ending it at 7%.
For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 21% on August 4, and its lowest chance is 1% on March 21.
Over the course of May in Barrow, the chance of a day with only rain increases from 0% to 3%, the chance of a day with mixed snow and rain remains an essentially constant 1% throughout, and the chance of a day with only snow remains an essentially constant 2% throughout.
Probability of Precipitation in May
To show variation within the month and not just the monthly total, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.
The average sliding 31-day rainfall during May in Barrow is essentially constant, remaining about 0.1 inches throughout, and rarely exceeding 0.6 inches or falling below -0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in May
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 May in Barrow is essentially constant, remaining about 0.1 inches throughout, and rarely exceeding 0.3 inches or falling below -0.0 inches.
The highest average 31-day liquid-equivalent accumulation is 0.1 inches on May 17.
Average Monthly Liquid-Equivalent Snowfall in May
Due to its extreme latitude, Barrow experiences polar day (also known as the midnight Sun) during the summer and polar night during the winter. These are periods of time in which the sun is continuously above or below the horizon for more than one day. 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.
In the summer in Barrow during 2018, the Sun is continuously above the horizon for 2.7 months, rising at 2:58 AM on May 10, and not setting again until 2:03 AM on August 2. As such, polar day begins in May and lasts beyond the end of the month.
The shortest day of the month is May 1, with 19 hours, 49 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in May
The latest sunrise of the month in Barrow is 4:32 AM on May 1 and the earliest sunrise is 1 hour, 35 minutes earlier at 2:58 AM on May 10.
The earliest sunset is 12:21 AM on May 1 and the latest sunset is 1 hour, 26 minutes later at 1:47 AM on May 9.
Daylight saving time is observed in Barrow during 2018, but it neither starts nor ends during May, so the entire month is in daylight saving time.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in May
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 in Barrow is essentially constant during May, remaining around 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels in May
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
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 in Barrow is decreasing during May, decreasing from 12.4 miles per hour to 11.4 miles per hour over the course of the month.
For reference, on January 10, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 14.1 miles per hour, while on July 1, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 10.5 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in May
Wind Direction in May
Barrow is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average surface water temperature in Barrow is essentially constant during May, remaining around 30°F throughout.
Average Water Temperature in May
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).
Temperatures in Barrow are sufficiently cold year round that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss the growing season in these terms. We nevertheless include the chart below as an illustration of the distribution of temperatures experienced throughout the year.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in May
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
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 in Barrow are essentially constant during May, remaining around 0°F throughout.
Growing Degree Days in May
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 in Barrow is increasing during May, rising by 1.4 kWh, from 4.3 kWh to 5.7 kWh, over the course of the month.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in May
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Barrow are 71.291 deg latitude, -156.789 deg longitude, and 3 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Barrow is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 56 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 13 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (79 feet). Within 50 miles is essentially flat (108 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Barrow is covered by water (52%), sparse vegetation (21%), grassland (14%), and bare soil (12%), within 10 miles by water (64%) and grassland (20%), and within 50 miles by water (74%) and herbaceous vegetation (10%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Barrow 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
There is only a single weather station, Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of Barrow.
At a distance of 1 kilometers from Barrow, closer than our threshold of 150 kilometers, this station is deemed sufficiently nearby to be relied upon as our primary source for temperature and dew point records.
The station records are corrected for the elevation difference between the station and Barrow according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
Please note that the station records themselves may additionally have been back-filled using other nearby stations or the MERRA-2 reanalysis.
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.
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.