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Average Weather in Pyongyang North Korea

In Pyongyang, the summers are long, warm, humid, wet, and partly cloudy and the winters are short, freezing, dry, and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 14°F to 85°F and is rarely below 3°F or above 91°F.

Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit Pyongyang for warm-weather activities are from late May to mid July and from mid August to late September.

Climate Summary

freezingvery coldcoldcoolwarmcoolcoldJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec71%71%48%48%clearovercastprecipitation: 10.2 inprecipitation: 10.2 in0.2 in0.2 inmuggy: 92%muggy: 92%0%0%drydrytourism score: 6.9tourism score: 6.90.00.0
Click on each chart for more information.

Temperature

The warm season lasts for 4.3 months, from May 17 to September 25, with an average daily high temperature above 74°F. The hottest day of the year is August 4, with an average high of 85°F and low of 72°F.

The cold season lasts for 2.9 months, from November 30 to February 25, with an average daily high temperature below 40°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of 14°F and high of 29°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

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 entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

Average Hourly Temperature in PyongyangJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMfreezingfreezingcoldcoolcoolcomfortablewarmcoldvery cold
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.

Norwalk, Iowa, United States (6,354 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to Pyongyang (view comparison).

Clouds

In Pyongyang, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in Pyongyang begins around September 4 and lasts for 6.2 months, ending around March 9. On October 19, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 71% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 29% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around March 9 and lasts for 5.8 months, ending around September 4. On July 24, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 52% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 48% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in PyongyangclearerclearercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Oct 1971%Oct 1971%Jul 2448%Jul 2448%Sep 459%Sep 459%Mar 960%Mar 960%clearmostly cloudyovercastpartly cloudymostly 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. The chance of wet days in Pyongyang varies significantly throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 2.8 months, from June 16 to September 9, with a greater than 27% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 52% on July 26.

The drier season lasts 9.2 months, from September 9 to June 16. The smallest chance of a wet day is 3% on January 28.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Pyongyang changes throughout the year.

Rain alone is the most common for 11 months, from January 26 to December 27. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 52% on July 26.

Snow alone is the most common for 4.3 weeks, from December 27 to January 26. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 3% on January 6.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in PyongyangrainJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jul 2652%Jul 2652%Jan 283%Jan 283%Dec 277%Dec 277%Jun 1627%Jun 1627%Sep 927%Sep 927%rain
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).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Pyongyang experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 9.8 months, from February 17 to December 9, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around July 25, with an average total accumulation of 10.2 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 2.2 months, from December 9 to February 17. The least rain falls around January 17, with an average total accumulation of 0.1 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

The average rainfall (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 liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall in Pyongyang does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall in PyongyangJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 in2 in4 in6 in8 in10 inDec 310.1 inDec 310.1 inJul 100.0 inJul 100.0 inJan 150.1 inJan 150.1 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

The length of the day in Pyongyang varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 22, with 9 hours, 26 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 55 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

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 is at 4:40 AM on June 14, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 46 minutes later at 7:26 AM on January 5. The earliest sunset is at 4:44 PM on December 7, and the latest sunset is 2 hours, 52 minutes later at 7:36 PM on June 28.

Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Pyongyang during 2018.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in PyongyangJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJun 144:40 AMJun 144:40 AM7:36 PMJun 287:36 PMJun 28Dec 74:44 PMDec 74:44 PM7:26 AMJan 57:26 AMJan 5daynightnightnightnightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of the year 2018. 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.

Pyongyang experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.

The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from June 16 to September 14, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 23% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is August 2, with muggy conditions 92% of the time.

The least muggy day of the year is February 18, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels in PyongyangmuggyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Feb 180%Feb 180%92%Aug 292%Aug 2Jun 1623%Jun 1623%Sep 1423%Sep 1423%drydrymuggymuggymiserablemiserablecomfortablecomfortable
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 Pyongyang experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 7.1 months, from October 24 to May 26, with average wind speeds of more than 8.0 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 21, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.5 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 4.9 months, from May 26 to October 24. The calmest day of the year is September 14, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.6 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in PyongyangwindywindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph2 mph4 mph6 mph8 mph10 mph12 mph14 mph16 mphApr 219.5 mphApr 219.5 mphSep 146.6 mphSep 146.6 mph
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Pyongyang varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the west for 3.8 months, from March 10 to July 4, with a peak percentage of 37% on April 9. The wind is most often from the east for 1.6 months, from August 7 to September 25, with a peak percentage of 38% on August 31. The wind is most often from the north for 5.5 months, from September 25 to March 10, with a peak percentage of 51% on January 1.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in PyongyangNWSENJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%westsoutheastnorth
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

Pyongyang 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 water temperature experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The time of year with warmer water lasts for 3.6 months, from June 27 to October 14, with an average temperature above 66°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 23, with an average temperature of 74°F.

The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.2 months, from January 1 to April 7, with an average temperature below 42°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is February 17, with an average temperature of 33°F.

Average Water Temperature

The daily average water temperature (purple line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Pyongyang throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.

The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit Pyongyang for general outdoor tourist activities are from late May to mid July and from mid August to late September, with a peak score in the first week of September.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score in PyongyangJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468106.96.90.00.06.96.95.75.7precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturetourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Pyongyang for hot-weather activities is from early July to late August, with a peak score in the second week of August.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score in Pyongyangbest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468105.85.80.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturebeach/pool score
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.

Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.

Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.

Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.

Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.

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 Pyongyang typically lasts for 6.9 months (210 days), from around April 2 to around October 29, rarely starting before March 19 or after April 17, and rarely ending before October 13 or after November 15.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Pyongyanggrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%50%Apr 250%Apr 250%Oct 2950%Oct 2990%Apr 1790%Apr 1790%Oct 1390%Oct 1310%Mar 1910%Mar 1910%Nov 1510%Nov 150%Dec 180%Dec 18Jul 14100%Jul 14100%frigidfreezingvery coldcomfortablewarmhotcoolcold
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.

Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Pyongyang should appear around April 17, only rarely appearing before April 9 or after April 26.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days in PyongyangJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F500°F1,000°F1,500°F2,000°F2,500°F3,000°F3,500°FApr 1789°FApr 1789°FJun 16900°FJun 16900°FJul 221,800°FJul 221,800°FDec 313,643°FDec 313,643°F
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, 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 experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.1 months, from April 19 to July 23, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.7 kWh. The brightest day of the year is May 31, with an average of 6.6 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 2.9 months, from November 3 to February 1, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.1 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 19, with an average of 2.2 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in PyongyangbrightdarkdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh1 kWh2 kWh3 kWh4 kWh5 kWh6 kWh7 kWh8 kWh9 kWhMay 316.6 kWhMay 316.6 kWhDec 192.2 kWhDec 192.2 kWhApr 195.7 kWhApr 195.7 kWhJul 235.7 kWhJul 235.7 kWhFeb 13.1 kWhFeb 13.1 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 Pyongyang are 39.034 deg latitude, 125.754 deg longitude, and 62 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Pyongyang contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 272 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 67 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (1,217 feet). Within 50 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (4,449 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Pyongyang is covered by bare soil (40%), sparse vegetation (36%), and water (12%), within 10 miles by cropland (37%) and sparse vegetation (25%), and within 50 miles by cropland (27%) and sparse vegetation (20%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Pyongyang, 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, Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of Pyongyang.

At a distance of 22 kilometers from Pyongyang, 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 Pyongyang 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.

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.