Average Weather in Kotzebue Alaska, United States
In Kotzebue, 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.
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 2, 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
In Kotzebue, 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 in Kotzebue begins around April 15 and lasts for 3.5 months, ending around July 29. On May 29, 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 8.5 months, ending around April 15. 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.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Kotzebue varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 3.0 months, from July 3 to October 3, 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 3 to July 3. 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 in Kotzebue changes throughout the year.
Snow alone is the most common for 6.1 months, from October 22 to April 25. 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 25 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. Kotzebue experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 5.3 months, from May 12 to October 20, 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 20 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. Kotzebue experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 7.7 months, from September 28 to May 20, 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 4.3 months, from May 20 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, Kotzebue 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 in Kotzebue during 2017, the Sun is continuously above the horizon for 1.2 months, rising at 2:56 AM on June 2, and not setting again until 2:36 AM on July 10.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Kotzebue 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
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 Kotzebue, 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
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 Kotzebue 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 5.9 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is December 30, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.0 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 3.9 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Kotzebue varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the west for 2.9 months, from May 23 to August 21, with a peak percentage of 43% on June 27. The wind is most often from the east for 9.1 months, from August 21 to May 23, with a peak percentage of 65% on January 1.
Kotzebue 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 25 to September 16, 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 7.5 months, from October 27 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
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 1 to July 24, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 4.7 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 Kotzebue are 66.898 deg latitude, -162.598 deg longitude, and 0 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Kotzebue contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 121 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 13 feet. Within 10 miles also contains only modest variations in elevation (305 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (3,130 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Kotzebue is covered by water (73%), sparse vegetation (13%), and shrubs (11%), within 10 miles by water (67%) and shrubs (17%), and within 50 miles by water (53%) and shrubs (23%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Kotzebue, 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 Kotzebue.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Kotzebue 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 Kotzebue is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Kotzebue and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Ralph Wien Memorial Airport (98%, 3.8 kilometers, southwest); Robert (Bob) Curtis Memorial Airport (1.3%, 70 kilometers, east); and Noatak Airport (1.1%, 76 kilometers, north).
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.