Average Weather at Orcas Island Airport Washington, United States
At Orcas Island Airport, the summers are short, comfortable, dry, and partly cloudy and the winters are long, very cold, wet, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 36°F to 71°F and is rarely below 26°F or above 77°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Orcas Island Airport for warm-weather activities is from early July to late August.
The warm season lasts for 2.9 months, from June 12 to September 9, with an average daily high temperature above 66°F. The hottest day of the year is July 29, with an average high of 71°F and low of 55°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.9 months, from November 13 to March 9, with an average daily high temperature below 50°F. The coldest day of the year is January 2, with an average low of 36°F and high of 45°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
At Orcas Island Airport, 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 at Orcas Island Airport begins around June 7 and lasts for 3.9 months, ending around October 2. On August 2, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 74% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 26% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 2 and lasts for 8.1 months, ending around June 7. On January 19, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 70% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 30% 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 Orcas Island Airport varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 6.2 months, from October 10 to April 17, with a greater than 32% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 56% on November 17.
The drier season lasts 5.8 months, from April 17 to October 10. The smallest chance of a wet day is 8% on July 31.
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 throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 55% on November 17.
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. Orcas Island Airport experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year at Orcas Island Airport. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around November 19, with an average total accumulation of 6.5 inches.
The least rain falls around July 29, with an average total accumulation of 0.6 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall at Orcas Island Airport 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
The length of the day at Orcas Island Airport varies extremely over the course of the year. In 2020, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 16 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 16 hours, 9 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:08 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 56 minutes later at 8:04 AM on December 31. The earliest sunset is at 4:15 PM on December 10, and the latest sunset is 5 hours, 3 minutes later at 9:18 PM on June 24.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed at Orcas Island Airport during 2020, starting in the spring on March 8, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 1.
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 Orcas Island 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 Orcas Island Airport experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 5.4 months, from October 22 to April 3, with average wind speeds of more than 5.7 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is December 3, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.8 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 6.6 months, from April 3 to October 22. The calmest day of the year is August 22, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.7 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction at Orcas Island Airport varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 1.3 weeks, from March 25 to April 3, with a peak percentage of 30% on March 27. The wind is most often from the west for 6.0 months, from April 3 to October 4, with a peak percentage of 67% on July 18. The wind is most often from the east for 5.7 months, from October 4 to March 25, with a peak percentage of 53% on January 1.
Orcas Island 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 3.0 months, from June 17 to September 16, with an average temperature above 55°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 1, with an average temperature of 57°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 4.3 months, from November 26 to April 5, with an average temperature below 48°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is January 29, with an average temperature of 45°F.
Average Water Temperature
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is at Orcas Island 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 Orcas Island Airport for general outdoor tourist activities is from early July to late August, with a peak score in the last 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 Orcas Island Airport for hot-weather activities is from late July to early August, with a peak score in the first week of August.
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 Orcas Island Airport typically lasts for 7.9 months (242 days), from around March 22 to around November 19, rarely starting before February 13 or after May 1, and rarely ending before October 28 or after December 17.
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 Orcas Island Airport should appear around May 9, only rarely appearing before April 24 or after May 25.
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 3.3 months, from May 10 to August 20, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.6 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 19, with an average of 6.8 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.9 months, from October 22 to February 19, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.0 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 24, with an average of 0.8 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Orcas Island Airport are 48.708 deg latitude, -122.911 deg longitude, and 0 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Orcas Island Airport contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 886 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 64 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (2,359 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (10,604 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Orcas Island Airport is covered by water (49%), trees (29%), and herbaceous vegetation (16%), within 10 miles by water (77%) and trees (20%), and within 50 miles by water (40%) and trees (33%).
This report illustrates the typical weather at Orcas Island 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
Orcas Island 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 include but are not limited to Saturna Island Meteorological Aeronautical Presentation System, Saturna / Capmon, Friday Harbor Airport, White Rock Automatic Weather Reporting System, Bellingham International Airport, Discovery Island, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and Victoria University.
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 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.