Climate

Since we chose Wrangell Alaska as our home port, we are often asked by friends and family what the climate is like here. [Data below...] 

Generally, this is couched as concern for whether we like rain, since Southeast Alaska is part of the Pacific temperate rainforest... [We are asked lots of other questions about Alaska too...]

We are offered all kinds of feedback about how much it rains. Of course, before making a decision to migrate from the arctic to the rainforest, we did a bit of research, and found a great website for providing a lay overview to help answer such questions about climates:

Weatherspark.com (The nerdier amongst you may prefer www.climate.gov)

You can discover what we did and gain some additional insight about the climate-side of our choice by comparing other SE Alaska cities with Wrangell. (e.g., Ketchikan and Juneau)

Planning a visit and wonder how much you will need your heater? Explore the Heating Degree Days data for the area(s) you plan to visit. [The higher the number, the more you will run your heater...]

Was your climate a deciding factor for you? To put is all in perspective, look-up the climate data for your area and compare that with your personal impressions... How objective were you?

And what about our water temperatures?

For current conditions and marine forecast, visit our Weather page.

Average Weather For Wrangell, Alaska, USA

Location

This report describes the typical weather at the Wrangell Airport (Wrangell, Alaska, United States) weather station over the course of an average year. It is based on the historical records from 1985 to 2012. Earlier records are either unavailable or unreliable.
Wrangell, Alaska has a humid continental climate with warm summers and no dry season. The area within 25 miles of this station is covered by forests (51%), tundra (25%), and oceans and seas (25%).

Temperature

Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 29°F to 64°F and is rarely below 15°F or above 71°F.

Daily High and Low Temperature

The daily average low (blue) and high (red) temperature with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile).
The warm season lasts from May 26 to September 9 with an average daily high temperature above 58°F. The hottest day of the year is August 6, with an average high of 64°F and low of 52°F.
The cold season lasts from November 13 to March 14 with an average daily high temperature below 41°F. The coldest day of the year is January 6, with an average low of 29°F and high of 35°F.

Fraction of Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands

The average fraction of time spent in various temperature bands: frigid (below 15°F), freezing (15°F to32°F), cold (32°F to 50°F), cool (50°F to 65°F), comfortable (65°F to 75°F), warm (75°F to 85°F), hot (85°F to 100°F) and sweltering (above 100°F).

Sun

The length of the day varies significantly over the course of the year. The shortest day is December 21with 6:51 hours of daylight; the longest day is June 20 with 17:43 hours of daylight.

Daily Hours of Daylight and Twilight

The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line), with various degrees of daylight, twilight, and night, indicated by the color bands. From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray): full daylight, solar twilight (Sun is visible but less than 6° from the horizon), civil twilight (Sun is not visible but is less than 6° below the horizon), nautical twilight (Sun is between 6° and 12° below the horizon), astronomical twilight (Sun is between 12° and 18° below the horizon), and full night.
The earliest sunrise is at 3:58am on June 14 and the latest sunset is at 9:44pm on June 27. The latest sunrise is at 8:25am on December 26 and the earliest sunset is at 3:10pm on December 15.
Daylight savings time (DST) is observed in this location during 2012, starting in the spring on March 11and ending in the fall on November 4.

Daily Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Savings Time

The solar day over the course of the year 2012 . From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (solar, civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight savings time are indicated by the "DST" labels.

Clouds

The median cloud cover is 98% (overcast) and does not vary substantially over the course of the year.

Median Cloud Cover

The median daily cloud cover (black line) with percentile bands (inner band from 40th to 60th percentile, outer band from 25th to 75th percentile).
On May 12, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 25% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 57% of the time.
On October 16, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast, mostly cloudy, or partly cloudy 74% of the time, and clear or mostly clear 10% of the time.

Cloud Cover Types

The fraction of time spent in each of the five sky cover categories. From top (most blue) to bottom (most gray), the categories are clear, mostly clear, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. Pink indicates missing data. Outside of the United States clear skies are often reported ambiguously, leading them to be lumped in with the missing data.

Precipitation

The probability that precipitation will be observed at this location varies throughout the year. Precipitation is most likely around October 18, occurring in 28% of days. Precipitation is least likely around July 27, occurring in 16% of days.

Probability of Precipitation at Some Point in the Day

The fraction of days in which various types of precipitation are observed. If more than one type of precipitation is reported in a given day, the more severe precipitation is counted. For example, if light rain is observed in the same day as a thunderstorm, that day counts towards the thunderstorm totals. The order of severity is from the top down in this graph, with the most severe at the bottom.
Over the entire year, the most common forms of precipitation are light rain, moderate rain, drizzle, and light snow.
Light rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 52% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around October 10, when it is observed during 16% of all days.
Moderate rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 19% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around September 26, when it is observed during 7% of all days.
Drizzle is the most severe precipitation observed during 12% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around November 9, when it is observed during 4% of all days.
Light snow is the most severe precipitation observed during 10% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around January 8, when it is observed during 6% of all days.

Types of Precipitation Throughout the Year

Relative frequency of various types of precipitation over the course of a typical year.
During the warm season, which lasts from May 26 to September 9, there is a 18% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (61% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), moderate rain (20%), and drizzle (17%).
During the cold season, which lasts from November 13 to March 14, there is a 23% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (41% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), light snow (22%), moderate rain (16%), and moderate snow (13%).

Warm Season Precipitation

Cold Season Precipitation

Relative frequency of various types of precipitation during the warm and cold seasons respectively.

Snow

The likelihood of snow falling is highest around January 8, occurring in 10% of days.

Probability of Snow Fall Being Reported in a Given Day

Probability that snow will be reported at least once in a given day. The season is defined as the period during which the probability is greater than one third the maximum probability.
Either snow rarely accumulates at this location or snow depth measurements are unavailable or unreliable.

Humidity

The relative humidity typically ranges from 54% (mildly humid) to 95% (very humid) over the course of the year, rarely dropping below 32% (comfortable) and reaching as high as 100% (very humid).
The air is driest around May 1, at which time the relative humidity drops below 66% (mildly humid) three days out of four; it is most humid around September 22, exceeding 92% (very humid) three days out of four.

Relative Humidity

The average daily high (blue) and low (brown) relative humidity with percentile bands (inner bands from 25th to 75th percentile, outer bands from 10th to 90th percentile).

Dew Point

Dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find the weather than relative humidity because it more directly relates to whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid.
Over the course of a year, the dew point typically varies from 22°F (dry) to 54°F (very comfortable) and is rarely below 4°F (dry) or above 57°F (comfortable).
The time of the year between June 27 and September 10 is the most comfortable, with dew points that are neither too dry nor too muggy.

Dew Point

The daily average low (blue) and high (red) dew point with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile).

Wind

Over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 15 mph (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 24 mph (strong breeze).
The highest average wind speed of 9 mph (gentle breeze) occurs around December 27, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 15 mph (moderate breeze).
The lowest average wind speed of 4 mph (light breeze) occurs around July 22, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 9 mph (gentle breeze).

Wind Speed

The average daily minimum (red), maximum (green), and average (black) wind speed with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile).
The wind is most often out of the south east (20% of the time) and east (19% of the time). The wind is least often out of the north east (2% of the time), south west (4% of the time), and south (5% of the time).

Wind Directions Over the Entire Year

The fraction of time spent with the wind blowing from the various directions over the entire year. Values do not sum to 100% because the wind direction is undefined when the wind speed is zero.

Fraction of Time Spent with Various Wind Directions

The fraction of time spent with the wind blowing from the various directions on a daily basis. Stacked values do not always sum to 100% because the wind direction is undefined when the wind speed is zero.

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