Average Weather at Ralph Wien Memorial Airport Alaska, United States
At Ralph Wien Memorial Airport, the summers are cool and mostly cloudy and the winters are long, frigid, snowy, windy, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -8°F to 60°F and is rarely below -32°F or above 70°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Ralph Wien Memorial Airport for warm-weather activities is from early July to early August.
The warm season lasts for 3.1 months, from June 9 to September 13, with an average daily high temperature above 49°F. The hottest day of the year is July 15, with an average high of 60°F and low of 51°F.
The cold season lasts for 4.6 months, from November 14 to April 1, with an average daily high temperature below 15°F. The coldest day of the year is January 20, with an average low of -8°F and high of 4°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
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
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 (4,717 miles away); Nizhniy Odes, Russia (3,230 miles); and Langepas, Russia (3,120 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Ralph Wien Memorial Airport (view comparison).
At Ralph Wien Memorial 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 Ralph Wien Memorial Airport begins around April 16 and lasts for 3.4 months, ending around July 29. On May 24, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 45% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 55% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around July 29 and lasts for 8.6 months, ending around April 16. On January 10, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 67% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 33% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
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. The chance of wet days at Ralph Wien Memorial Airport varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 3.0 months, from July 2 to October 4, with a greater than 19% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 32% on August 10.
The drier season lasts 9.0 months, from October 4 to July 2. The smallest chance of a wet day is 6% 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 Ralph Wien Memorial Airport changes throughout the year.
Snow alone is the most common for 6.1 months, from October 22 to April 26. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 14% on December 31.
Rain alone is the most common for 5.9 months, from April 26 to October 22. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 32% on August 10.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
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. Ralph Wien Memorial Airport experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 5.3 months, from May 12 to October 21, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around August 15, with an average total accumulation of 2.4 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 6.7 months, from October 21 to May 12. The least rain falls around January 6, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
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. Ralph Wien Memorial Airport experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 7.8 months, from September 28 to May 21, 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 29, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.7 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 4.2 months, from May 21 to September 28. The least snow falls around August 3, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
Due to its extreme latitude, Ralph Wien Memorial 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 Ralph Wien Memorial Airport during 2018, the Sun is continuously above the horizon for 1.2 months, rising at 3:04 AM on June 2, and not setting again until 2:38 AM on July 10.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed at Ralph Wien Memorial Airport during 2018, starting in the spring on March 11, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 4.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
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 Ralph Wien Memorial 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
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 at Ralph Wien Memorial Airport experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 6.9 months, from September 14 to April 11, with average wind speeds of more than 11.0 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is December 30, with an average hourly wind speed of 14.7 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 5.1 months, from April 11 to September 14. The calmest day of the year is June 19, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.3 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction at Ralph Wien Memorial Airport varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the west for 3.0 months, from May 22 to August 21, with a peak percentage of 43% on June 27. The wind is most often from the east for 9.0 months, from August 21 to May 22, with a peak percentage of 65% on January 1.
Ralph Wien Memorial 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 significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 1.7 months, from July 26 to September 15, with an average temperature above 46°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 18, with an average temperature of 50°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 7.4 months, from October 28 to June 11, with an average temperature below 33°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is January 22, with an average temperature of 29°F.
Average Water Temperature
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is at Ralph Wien Memorial 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 Ralph Wien Memorial Airport for general outdoor tourist activities is from early July to early August, with a peak score in the third week of July.
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 Ralph Wien Memorial Airport for hot-weather activities is from late June to early July.
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.
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 Ralph Wien Memorial Airport typically lasts for 3.6 months (109 days), from around June 5 to around September 22, rarely starting before May 18 or after June 22, and rarely ending before September 2 or after October 9.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
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.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms at Ralph Wien Memorial Airport should appear around July 5, only rarely appearing before June 23 or after July 20.
Growing Degree Days
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 2.7 months, from May 2 to July 24, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 4.8 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 5, with an average of 6.0 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 4.9 months, from October 7 to March 3, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 1.2 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 22, with an average of 0.0 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Ralph Wien Memorial Airport are 66.884 deg latitude, -162.599 deg longitude, and 0 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Ralph Wien Memorial Airport contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 118 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 25 feet. Within 10 miles also contains only modest variations in elevation (305 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (3,159 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Ralph Wien Memorial Airport is covered by water (51%), shrubs (23%), and sparse vegetation (22%), within 10 miles by water (67%) and shrubs (17%), and within 50 miles by water (54%) and shrubs (23%).
This report illustrates the typical weather at Ralph Wien Memorial 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
Ralph Wien Memorial 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 Noatak Airport, Deering Airport, Robert (Bob) Curtis Memorial Airport, Buckland Airport, Kivalina Airport, Bob Baker Memorial Airport, Selawik Airport, and Shishmaref Airport.
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.