Average Weather in Tonopah Nevada, United States
In Tonopah, the summers are hot and mostly clear, the winters are very cold and partly cloudy, and it is dry year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 19°F to 89°F and is rarely below 8°F or above 95°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Tonopah for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.
The hot season lasts for 3.2 months, from June 7 to September 14, with an average daily high temperature above 79°F. The hottest day of the year is July 17, with an average high of 89°F and low of 57°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.2 months, from November 19 to February 25, with an average daily high temperature below 51°F. The coldest day of the year is December 30, with an average low of 19°F and high of 41°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
In Tonopah, 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 Tonopah begins around May 23 and lasts for 5.1 months, ending around October 27. On August 17, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 87% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 13% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 27 and lasts for 6.9 months, ending around May 23. On February 22, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 46% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 54% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
Tonopah does not experience significant seasonal variation in the frequency of wet days (i.e., those with greater than 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation). The frequency ranges from 2% to 8%, with an average value of 6%.
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 Tonopah changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 11 months, from January 21 to December 19. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 8% on August 5.
Snow alone is the most common for 1.1 months, from December 19 to January 21. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 3% on January 18.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
The sliding 31-day quantity of rainfall in Tonopah does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.2 inches throughout.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall in Tonopah 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 in Tonopah varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 31 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 49 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:25 AM on June 13, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 51 minutes later at 7:16 AM on November 3. The earliest sunset is at 4:29 PM on December 7, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 47 minutes later at 8:15 PM on June 28.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Tonopah 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 in Tonopah, 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 in Tonopah experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 4.0 months, from February 15 to June 15, with average wind speeds of more than 8.1 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 11, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.4 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 8.0 months, from June 15 to February 15. The calmest day of the year is October 11, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.9 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Tonopah varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 3.4 months, from June 17 to September 29, with a peak percentage of 57% on August 12. The wind is most often from the north for 8.6 months, from September 29 to June 17, with a peak percentage of 39% on January 1.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Tonopah 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 Tonopah for general outdoor tourist activities is from late June to late 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 Tonopah for hot-weather activities is from late June to mid August, with a peak score in the third week of 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 in Tonopah typically lasts for 5.0 months (154 days), from around May 10 to around October 11, rarely starting before April 18 or after May 31, and rarely ending before September 21 or after November 1.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and 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 Tonopah should appear around April 7, only rarely appearing before March 23 or after April 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 3.5 months, from May 4 to August 19, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 7.5 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 24, with an average of 8.8 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.3 months, from November 3 to February 11, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.9 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 23, with an average of 2.6 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Tonopah are 38.067 deg latitude, -117.230 deg longitude, and 6,040 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Tonopah contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 1,342 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 6,120 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (2,224 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (7,300 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Tonopah is covered by shrubs (100%), within 10 miles by shrubs (100%), and within 50 miles by shrubs (91%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Tonopah, 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 are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Tonopah.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Tonopah according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Tonopah is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Tonopah and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Tonopah Airport (90%, 12 kilometers, east); Bishop Airport (6%, 126 kilometers, southwest); and Naval Air Station Fallon (3.4%, 198 kilometers, northwest).
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.