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Average Weather at Shishmaref Airport Alaska, United States

At Shishmaref Airport, the summers are cold and mostly cloudy and the winters are long, frigid, snowy, windy, and overcast. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -9°F to 55°F and is rarely below -30°F or above 63°F.

Climate Summary

frigidfreezingvery coldcoldcoldvery coldfreezingfrigidJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec39%39%20%20%overcastclearprecipitation: 1.9 inprecipitation: 1.9 in0.3 in0.3 inmuggy: 0%muggy: 0%drydrytourism score: 1.1tourism score: 1.10.00.0
Click on each chart for more information.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Shishmaref Airport for warm-weather activities is from mid July to early August.

Temperature

The warm season lasts for 3.0 months, from June 17 to September 16, with an average daily high temperature above 45°F. The hottest day of the year is July 28, with an average high of 55°F and low of 47°F.

The cold season lasts for 4.3 months, from November 29 to April 8, with an average daily high temperature below 15°F. The coldest day of the year is February 8, with an average low of -9°F and high of 6°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 at Shishmaref AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMfrigidfrigidfreezingvery coldcoldfreezingvery cold
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: 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 shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Fermont, Canada (3,203 miles away) and Terskol, Russia (4,724 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Shishmaref Airport (view comparison).

Clouds

At Shishmaref Airport, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year at Shishmaref Airport begins around May 1 and lasts for 6.1 months, ending around November 5. On September 18, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 39% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 61% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around November 5 and lasts for 5.9 months, ending around May 1. On January 7, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 80% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 20% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories at Shishmaref AirportclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Sep 1839%Sep 1839%Jan 720%Jan 720%May 129%May 129%Nov 529%Nov 529%clearmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudyovercast
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days at Shishmaref Airport varies throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 3.2 months, from July 1 to October 7, with a greater than 17% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 29% on August 8.

The drier season lasts 8.8 months, from October 7 to July 1. The smallest chance of a wet day is 5% on March 19.

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 at Shishmaref Airport changes throughout the year.

Snow alone is the most common for 6.3 months, from October 25 to May 5. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 12% on January 8.

Rain alone is the most common for 5.7 months, from May 5 to October 25. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 29% on August 8.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation at Shishmaref AirportsnowrainsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Aug 829%Aug 829%Mar 195%Mar 195%May 512%May 512%Oct 2514%Oct 2514%Jan 112%Jan 112%Jul 117%Jul 117%snowrainmixed
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. Shishmaref Airport experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from May 26 to October 18, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around August 12, with an average total accumulation of 1.9 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 7.2 months, from October 18 to May 26. The least rain falls around March 13, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

Average Monthly Rainfall at Shishmaref AirportrainJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 in0.5 in1.0 in1.5 in2.0 in2.5 in3.0 in3.5 in4.0 inAug 121.9 inAug 121.9 inMar 130.0 inMar 130.0 inJan 60.0 inJan 60.0 inMay 260.5 inMay 260.5 inOct 180.5 inOct 180.5 in
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

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. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.

As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Shishmaref Airport experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 7.7 months, from October 7 to May 31, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around December 30, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.5 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 4.3 months, from May 31 to October 7. The least snow falls around July 31, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall at Shishmaref AirportsnowsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 in0.5 in1.0 in1.5 in2.0 inDec 300.5 inDec 300.5 inJul 310.0 inJul 310.0 inApr 170.3 inApr 170.3 inOct 70.1 inOct 70.1 inMay 310.1 inMay 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, Shishmaref 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.

In the summer at Shishmaref Airport during 2017, the Sun is continuously above the horizon for 3.7 weeks, rising at 3:12 AM on June 8, and not setting again until 2:51 AM on July 4.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight at Shishmaref AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hr12 hr, 13 minMar 2012 hr, 13 minMar 2024 hr, 0 minJun 2024 hr, 0 minJun 2012 hr, 16 minSep 2212 hr, 16 minSep 222 hr, 31 minDec 212 hr, 31 minDec 21nightnightday
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.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed at Shishmaref Airport during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time at Shishmaref AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AM2 AMJun 83:12 AMJun 83:12 AM2:51 AMJul 32:51 AMJul 3Dec 193:17 PMDec 193:17 PM12:47 PMDec 2312:47 PMDec 23Mar 12DSTMar 12DSTDSTNov 5DSTNov 5daynightnightnightnightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of the year 2017. 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. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

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 perceived humidity level at Shishmaref Airport, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels at Shishmaref AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jul 30%Jul 30%drydry
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

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 Shishmaref Airport experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 7.0 months, from September 13 to April 12, with average wind speeds of more than 12.0 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is December 25, with an average hourly wind speed of 15.0 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 5.0 months, from April 12 to September 13. The calmest day of the year is June 30, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.9 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed at Shishmaref AirportwindywindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph2 mph4 mph6 mph8 mph10 mph12 mph14 mph16 mph18 mph20 mph22 mph24 mphDec 2515.0 mphDec 2515.0 mphJun 308.9 mphJun 308.9 mphSep 1312.0 mphSep 1312.0 mphApr 1212.0 mphApr 1212.0 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 at Shishmaref Airport varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the south for 1.5 months, from June 27 to August 10, with a peak percentage of 35% on July 27. The wind is most often from the north for 2.4 months, from August 10 to October 23 and for 6.7 months, from December 6 to June 27, with a peak percentage of 42% on September 23. The wind is most often from the east for 1.5 months, from October 23 to December 6, with a peak percentage of 43% on November 20.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction at Shishmaref AirportNSNENJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%southeastnorthwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 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

Shishmaref Airport 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 some seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The time of year with warmer water lasts for 2.1 months, from July 16 to September 19, with an average temperature above 44°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 16, with an average temperature of 48°F.

The time of year with cooler water lasts for 6.9 months, from November 9 to June 5, with an average temperature below 33°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is January 28, with an average temperature of 29°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 at Shishmaref Airport 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 time of year to visit Shishmaref Airport for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid July to early August, with a peak score in the last week of July.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score at Shishmaref AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468101.11.10.00.0precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturetourism 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 Shishmaref Airport for hot-weather activities is from mid to late July.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score at Shishmaref AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468100.00.00.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudsclouds
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 at Shishmaref Airport typically lasts for 3.3 months (102 days), from around June 17 to around September 27, rarely starting before June 2 or after July 2, and rarely ending before September 11 or after October 12.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season at Shishmaref Airportgrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Jun 1750%Jun 1750%Sep 2750%Sep 2750%Jul 290%Jul 290%Sep 1190%Sep 1190%Jun 210%Jun 210%Oct 1210%Oct 1210%0%Nov 290%Nov 29Aug 3100%Aug 3100%frigidfreezingvery coldcoldcool
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands: 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 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.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days at Shishmaref AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F20°F40°F60°F80°F100°F120°F140°F160°F180°FAug 1690°FAug 1690°FDec 31114°FDec 31114°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 extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from April 26 to July 25, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 4.3 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 5, with an average of 5.4 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from October 9 to March 1, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 1.1 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 22, with an average of 0.0 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy at Shishmaref AirportbrightdarkdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh1 kWh2 kWh3 kWh4 kWh5 kWh6 kWh7 kWh8 kWhJun 55.4 kWhJun 55.4 kWhDec 220.0 kWhDec 220.0 kWhApr 264.3 kWhApr 264.3 kWhJul 254.3 kWhJul 254.3 kWhOct 91.1 kWhOct 91.1 kWhMar 11.1 kWhMar 11.1 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 Shishmaref Airport are 66.253 deg latitude, -166.079 deg longitude, and 0 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Shishmaref Airport is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 23 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 3 feet. Within 10 miles is essentially flat (157 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (2,854 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Shishmaref Airport is covered by water (95%), within 10 miles by water (85%), and within 50 miles by water (55%) and shrubs (24%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather at Shishmaref Airport, 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

Shishmaref 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 Teller Airport, Tin City LRRS Airport, Wales Airport, Kivalina Airport, Deering Airport, and Ralph Wien Memorial Airport.

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.