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Average Weather at Bettles Airport Alaska, United States

At Bettles Airport, the summers are comfortable and mostly cloudy and the winters are long, frigid, snowy, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -17°F to 71°F and is rarely below -46°F or above 81°F.

Climate Summary

frigidfreezingcoolcomfortablecoolcoldfrigidJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec48%48%35%35%overcastclearprecipitation: 2.6 inprecipitation: 2.6 in0.4 in0.4 inmuggy: 0%muggy: 0%0%0%drydrytourism score: 4.0tourism score: 4.00.00.0
Click on each chart for more information.

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

Temperature

The warm season lasts for 3.5 months, from May 19 to September 2, with an average daily high temperature above 57°F. The hottest day of the year is June 29, with an average high of 71°F and low of 51°F.

The cold season lasts for 4.0 months, from November 5 to March 6, with an average daily high temperature below 13°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of -17°F and high of -2°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 Bettles AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMfrigidfrigidcoldcoolcoolvery coldcomfortablefreezingfreezingvery 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.

Kogalym, Russia (3,221 miles away) and Tosontsengel, Mongolia (3,663 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Bettles Airport (view comparison).

Clouds

At Bettles 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 Bettles Airport begins around January 5 and lasts for 3.0 months, ending around April 3. On March 6, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 48% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 52% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around April 3 and lasts for 9.0 months, ending around January 5. On September 24, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 65% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 35% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories at Bettles AirportclearercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Mar 648%Mar 648%Sep 2435%Sep 2435%Jan 542%Jan 542%Apr 342%Apr 342%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 Bettles Airport varies throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 4.1 months, from June 3 to October 5, with a greater than 21% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 34% on August 1.

The drier season lasts 7.9 months, from October 5 to June 3. The smallest chance of a wet day is 8% 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 Bettles Airport changes throughout the year.

Snow alone is the most common for 6.4 months, from October 7 to April 19. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 14% on December 19.

Rain alone is the most common for 5.6 months, from April 19 to October 7. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 34% on August 1.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation at Bettles AirportsnowrainsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Aug 134%Aug 134%Mar 198%Mar 198%Apr 1910%Apr 1910%Oct 720%Oct 720%Jan 114%Jan 114%Jun 321%Jun 321%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. Bettles Airport experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 5.5 months, from April 29 to October 14, 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 2.6 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 6.5 months, from October 14 to April 29. The least rain falls around December 11, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 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

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. Bettles Airport experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 7.9 months, from September 11 to May 7, 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 31, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.7 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 4.1 months, from May 7 to September 11. The least snow falls around August 3, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

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, Bettles 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 Bettles Airport during 2017, the Sun is continuously above the horizon for 1.2 months, rising at 2:09 AM on June 2, and not setting again until 1:55 AM on July 10.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight at Bettles 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 221 hr, 39 minDec 211 hr, 39 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 Bettles 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 Bettles AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AM2 AMJun 22:09 AMJun 22:09 AM1:55 AMJul 91:55 AMJul 9Dec 201:53 PMDec 201:53 PM12:15 PMDec 2212:15 PMDec 22Mar 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 Bettles 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 Bettles AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Nov 280%Nov 280%May 120%May 120%drydrycomfortablecomfortable
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 Bettles Airport experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 5.3 months, from October 28 to April 7, with average wind speeds of more than 6.8 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 9, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.1 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 6.6 months, from April 7 to October 28. The calmest day of the year is August 21, with an average hourly wind speed of 5.5 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

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 Bettles Airport varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the west for 2.4 months, from June 8 to August 20, with a peak percentage of 44% on July 6. The wind is most often from the east for 9.6 months, from August 20 to June 8, with a peak percentage of 68% on January 1.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction at Bettles AirportEWEJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%westeastnorthsouth
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).

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is at Bettles 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 Bettles Airport for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid June to mid July, with a peak score in the first week of July.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score at Bettles AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468104.04.00.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturetourism 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 Bettles Airport for hot-weather activities is from late June to mid July, with a peak score in the last week of June.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score at Bettles AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468100.70.70.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperature
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 Bettles Airport typically lasts for 3.2 months (99 days), from around May 21 to around August 28, rarely starting before May 5 or after June 7, and rarely ending before August 10 or after September 17.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season at Bettles Airportgrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%May 2150%May 2150%Aug 2850%Aug 2850%Jun 790%Jun 790%Aug 1090%Aug 1090%May 510%May 510%Sep 1710%Sep 1710%0%Feb 240%Feb 24Jul 3100%Jul 3100%frigidfreezingcoldcoolcomfortablevery coldwarm
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.

Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms at Bettles Airport should appear around May 31, only rarely appearing before May 23 or after June 10.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days at Bettles AirportJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F200°F400°F600°F800°F1,000°FMay 3190°FMay 3190°FDec 31886°FDec 31886°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 2.9 months, from April 29 to July 26, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 4.7 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 21, with an average of 5.9 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from October 8 to March 1, 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

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 Bettles Airport are 66.915 deg latitude, -151.528 deg longitude, and 643 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Bettles Airport contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 223 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 642 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (2,408 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (5,456 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Bettles Airport is covered by shrubs (50%) and trees (45%), within 10 miles by shrubs (51%) and trees (41%), and within 50 miles by shrubs (62%) and trees (23%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather at Bettles 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

Bettles 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 Ralph M Calhoun Memorial Airport and Indian Mountain Long Range Radar Site.

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.