January Weather in Anchorage Alaska, United States
Daily high temperatures increase by 2°F, from 23°F to 25°F, rarely falling below 5°F or exceeding 39°F.
Daily low temperatures are around 14°F, rarely falling below -8°F or exceeding 30°F. The lowest daily average low temperature is 13°F on January 17.
For reference, on July 20, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Anchorage typically range from 55°F to 68°F, while on January 17, the coldest day of the year, they range from 13°F to 23°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in January in Anchorage
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on January. 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 January in Anchorage
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 month of January in Anchorage experiences essentially constant cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy remaining about 59% throughout the month.
The clearest day of the month is January 20, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 43% of the time.
For reference, on December 18, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 63%, while on March 16, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 48%.
Cloud Cover Categories in January in Anchorage
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 Anchorage, the chance of a wet day over the course of January is gradually decreasing, starting the month at 23% and ending it at 20%.
For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 39% on September 27, and its lowest chance is 13% on March 28.
Over the course of January in Anchorage, the chance of a day with only rain remains an essentially constant 4% throughout, the chance of a day with mixed snow and rain remains an essentially constant 3% throughout, and the chance of a day with only snow decreases from 16% to 14%.
Probability of Precipitation in January in Anchorage
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 January in Anchorage is essentially constant, remaining about 0.4 inches throughout, and rarely exceeding 1.1 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in January in Anchorage
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.
The average sliding 31-day snowfall during January in Anchorage is decreasing, starting the month at 8.5 inches, when it rarely exceeds 15.9 inches or falls below 2.4 inches, and ending the month at 7.0 inches, when it rarely exceeds 13.3 inches or falls below 1.8 inches.
Average Monthly Snowfall in January in Anchorage
Over the course of January in Anchorage, the length of the day is very rapidly increasing. From the start to the end of the month, the length of the day increases by 2 hours, 3 minutes, implying an average daily increase of 4 minutes, 5 seconds, and weekly increase of 28 minutes, 38 seconds.
The shortest day of the month is January 1, with 5 hours, 39 minutes of daylight and the longest day is January 31, with 7 hours, 42 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in January in Anchorage
The latest sunrise of the month in Anchorage is 10:13 AM on January 1 and the earliest sunrise is 51 minutes earlier at 9:22 AM on January 31.
The earliest sunset is 3:52 PM on January 1 and the latest sunset is 1 hour, 11 minutes later at 5:04 PM on January 31.
Daylight saving time is observed in Anchorage during 2023, but it neither starts nor ends during January, so the entire month is in standard time.
For reference, on June 21, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 4:20 AM and sets 19 hours, 23 minutes later, at 11:42 PM, while on December 22, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 10:14 AM and sets 5 hours, 27 minutes later, at 3:41 PM.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in January in Anchorage
The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.
Solar Elevation and Azimuth in January in Anchorage
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for January 2023. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases. The label associated with each bar indicates the date and time that the phase is obtained, and the companion time labels indicate the rise and set times of the Moon for the nearest time interval in which the moon is above the horizon.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases in January in Anchorage
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 Anchorage is essentially constant during January, remaining around 0% throughout.
For reference, on June 19, 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 January in Anchorage
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 Anchorage is essentially constant during January, remaining within 0.1 miles per hour of 6.5 miles per hour throughout.
For reference, on January 8, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 6.6 miles per hour, while on July 6, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 4.2 miles per hour.
The highest daily average wind speed during January is 6.6 miles per hour on January 9.
Average Wind Speed in January in Anchorage
The hourly average wind direction in Anchorage throughout January is predominantly from the east, with a peak proportion of 48% on January 2.
Wind Direction in January in Anchorage
Anchorage 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 Anchorage is essentially constant during January, remaining around 33°F throughout.
Average Water Temperature in January in Anchorage
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 in Anchorage typically lasts for 5.1 months (156 days), from around April 25 to around September 29, rarely starting before April 10 or after May 12, and rarely ending before September 11 or after October 15.
The month of January in Anchorage is reliably fully outside of the growing season.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in January in Anchorage
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 Anchorage are essentially constant during January, remaining around 0°F throughout.
Growing Degree Days in January in Anchorage
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 Anchorage is essentially constant during January, remaining within 0.2 kWh of 0.4 kWh throughout.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in January in Anchorage
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Anchorage are 61.218 deg latitude, -149.900 deg longitude, and 98 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Anchorage contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 177 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 48 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (3,212 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (7,936 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Anchorage is covered by artificial surfaces (79%) and sparse vegetation (14%), within 10 miles by water (29%) and trees (22%), and within 50 miles by trees (32%) and shrubs (21%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Anchorage, 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 are 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Anchorage.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Anchorage according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Anchorage is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Anchorage and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:
To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of Anchorage and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , 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 airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.
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.
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