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Average Weather in January in Prudhoe Bay Alaska, United States

Daily high temperatures decrease by 3°F, from -5°F to -8°F, rarely falling below -28°F or exceeding 14°F.

Daily low temperatures decrease by 4°F, from -17°F to -20°F, rarely falling below -39°F or exceeding 1°F.

For reference, on July 28, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Prudhoe Bay typically range from 41°F to 54°F, while on February 9, the coldest day of the year, they range from -21°F to -9°F.

Average High and Low Temperature in January

Average High and Low Temperature in January in Prudhoe Bay181522291122334455667788991010111112121313141415151616171718181919202021212222232324242525262627272828292930303131-45°F-45°F-40°F-40°F-35°F-35°F-30°F-30°F-25°F-25°F-20°F-20°F-15°F-15°F-10°F-10°F-5°F-5°F0°F0°F5°F5°F10°F10°F15°F15°F20°F20°FDecFebJan 1-5°FJan 1-5°F-17°F-17°FJan 31-8°FJan 31-8°F-20°F-20°FJan 11-7°FJan 11-7°F-19°F-19°FJan 21-9°FJan 21-9°F-21°F-21°F
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 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

Average Hourly Temperature in January in Prudhoe Bay18152229112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM12 AM4 AM4 AM8 AM8 AM12 PM12 PM4 PM4 PM8 PM8 PM12 AM12 AMDecFebfrigid
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.

Tosontsengel, Mongolia (3,578 miles away) and McMurdo Station, Antarctica (10,406 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Prudhoe Bay (view comparison).

Clouds

The month of January in Prudhoe Bay experiences essentially constant cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy remaining about 89% throughout the month. The highest chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 90% on January 21.

The clearest day of the month is January 2, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 12% of the time.

For reference, on January 21, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 90%, while on June 27, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 35%.

Cloud Cover Categories in January

Cloud Cover Categories in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%DecFebJun 2735%Jun 2735%Jan 112%Jan 112%Jan 3111%Jan 3111%Jan 1111%Jan 1111%Jan 2110%Jan 2110%mostly cloudyovercastclearmostly clear
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. In Prudhoe Bay, the chance of a wet day over the course of January is essentially constant, remaining around 4% throughout.

For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 22% on August 17, and its lowest chance is 2% on April 1.

Probability of Precipitation in January

Probability of Precipitation in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.0%0.0%0.5%0.5%1.0%1.0%1.5%1.5%2.0%2.0%2.5%2.5%3.0%3.0%3.5%3.5%4.0%4.0%4.5%4.5%5.0%5.0%DecFebJan 14%Jan 14%Jan 314%Jan 314%Jan 114%Jan 114%Jan 214%Jan 214%snowmixed
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 January in Prudhoe Bay is essentially constant, remaining about 0.1 inches throughout, and rarely exceeding 0.4 inches or falling below -0.0 inches.

The highest average 31-day liquid-equivalent accumulation is 0.1 inches on January 15.

Average Monthly Liquid-Equivalent Snowfall in January

Average Monthly Liquid-Equivalent Snowfall in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.0 in0.0 in0.1 in0.1 in0.2 in0.2 in0.3 in0.3 in0.4 in0.4 in0.5 in0.5 inDecFebJan 150.1 inJan 150.1 inJan 10.1 inJan 10.1 inJan 310.1 inJan 310.1 in
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, Prudhoe Bay 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 winter in Prudhoe Bay during 2021, the Sun is continuously below the horizon for 1.8 months, setting at 12:54 PM on November 23, and not rising again until 12:56 PM on January 17. As such, January begins the month in polar night, which ends before the month is out.

The longest day of the month is January 31, with 4 hours, 45 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in January

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 latest sunrise of the month in Prudhoe Bay is 12:56 PM on January 17 and the earliest sunrise is 2 hours, 12 minutes earlier at 10:45 AM on January 31.

The earliest sunset is 1:11 PM on January 17 and the latest sunset is 2 hours, 19 minutes later at 3:29 PM on January 31.

Daylight saving time is observed in Prudhoe Bay during 2021, but it neither starts nor ends during January, so the entire month is in standard time.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in January

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031312 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMDecFeb12:56 PM12:56 PMJan 171:11 PMJan 171:11 PM10:45 AM10:45 AMJan 313:29 PMJan 313:29 PMSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of January. 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.

Moon

The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for January 2021. 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

Moon in Prudhoe Bay18152229112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM12 AM4 AM4 AM8 AM8 AM12 PM12 PM4 PM4 PM8 PM8 PM12 AM12 AMDecFebDec 296:29 PMDec 296:29 PMJan 2810:17 AMJan 2810:17 AMFeb 1110:06 AMFeb 1110:06 AMFeb 2611:18 PMFeb 2611:18 PM12:00 AM12:00 AM12:00 AM12:00 AM12:00 AM12:00 AM12:00 AM12:00 AM11:32 AM11:32 AM3:26 PM3:26 PM3:55 PM3:55 PM9:39 AM9:39 AM
The time in which the moon is above the horizon (light blue area), with new moons (dark gray lines) and full moons (blue lines) indicated. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

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 in Prudhoe Bay is essentially constant during January, remaining around 0% throughout.

Humidity Comfort Levels in January

Humidity Comfort Levels in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%0%10%10%20%20%30%30%40%40%50%50%60%60%70%70%80%80%90%90%100%100%DecFebJan 10%Jan 10%Jan 310%Jan 310%Jan 110%Jan 110%Jan 210%Jan 210%drydry
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 in Prudhoe Bay is essentially constant during January, remaining within 0.2 miles per hour of 12.7 miles per hour throughout.

For reference, on January 12, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 12.9 miles per hour, while on July 29, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 9.3 miles per hour.

The highest daily average wind speed during January is 12.9 miles per hour on January 13.

Average Wind Speed in January

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 in Prudhoe Bay throughout January is predominantly from the east, with a peak proportion of 46% on January 7.

Wind Direction in January

Wind Direction in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%DecFebwesteastsouthnorth
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).

Water Temperature

Prudhoe Bay 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 Prudhoe Bay is essentially constant during January, remaining around 29°F throughout.

Average Water Temperature in January

Average Water Temperature in January in Prudhoe Bay18152229112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313128.5°F28.5°F28.6°F28.6°F28.7°F28.7°F28.8°F28.8°F28.9°F28.9°F29.0°F29.0°F29.1°F29.1°F29.2°F29.2°FDecFebJan 129°FJan 129°FJan 3129°FJan 3129°FJan 1129°FJan 1129°FJan 2129°FJan 2129°F
The daily average water temperature (purple line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

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 in Prudhoe Bay typically lasts for 1.7 months (51 days), from around June 28 to around August 18, rarely starting before June 7, or ending after September 8.

The month of January in Prudhoe Bay is reliably fully outside of the growing season.

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

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%DecFeb0%Jan 160%Jan 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 in Prudhoe Bay are essentially constant during January, remaining around 0°F throughout.

Growing Degree Days in January

Growing Degree Days in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.0°F0.0°F0.1°F0.1°F0.2°F0.2°F0.3°F0.3°F0.4°F0.4°F0.5°F0.5°F0.6°F0.6°F0.7°F0.7°F0.8°F0.8°F0.9°F0.9°F1.0°F1.0°FDecFebJan 10°FJan 10°FJan 310°FJan 310°FJan 110°FJan 110°FJan 210°FJan 210°F
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of January, 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 in Prudhoe Bay is essentially constant during January, remaining around 0.0 kWh throughout.

The lowest average daily incident shortwave solar energy during January is 0.0 kWh on January 2.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in January

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in January in Prudhoe Bay1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.0 kWh0.0 kWh0.1 kWh0.1 kWh0.2 kWh0.2 kWh0.3 kWh0.3 kWh0.4 kWh0.4 kWh0.5 kWh0.5 kWh0.6 kWh0.6 kWh0.7 kWh0.7 kWh0.8 kWh0.8 kWh0.9 kWh0.9 kWhDecFebJan 20.0 kWhJan 20.0 kWhJan 310.1 kWhJan 310.1 kWhJan 110.0 kWhJan 110.0 kWhJan 210.0 kWhJan 210.0 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 Prudhoe Bay are 70.255 deg latitude, -148.337 deg longitude, and 46 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Prudhoe Bay is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 59 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 39 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (82 feet). Within 50 miles is essentially flat (965 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Prudhoe Bay is covered by sparse vegetation (56%), herbaceous vegetation (21%), and water (13%), within 10 miles by sparse vegetation (31%) and water (28%), and within 50 miles by water (45%) and grassland (33%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Prudhoe Bay, 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 Prudhoe Bay.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Prudhoe Bay 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 Prudhoe Bay is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Prudhoe Bay and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Deadhorse Airport (99%, 9 kilometers, southwest) and Barter Island LRRS Airport (1.1%, 180 kilometers, east).

Other 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 © 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.