Weather in Skagway

In Skagway, the summers are mild, the winters are long and freezing, and it is overcast year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 18°F to 61°F and is rarely below -3°F or above 71°F.

Average temperatures in Skagway

The warm season lasts for 3.7 months, from May 18 to September 10, with an average daily high temperature above 54°F. The hottest day of the year is July 9, with an average high of 61°F and low of 48°F. The cold season lasts for 3.9 months, from November 12 to March 9, with an average daily high temperature below 34°F. The coldest day of the year is January 15, with an average low of 18°F and high of 27°F.

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.

Clouds

At Skagway 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 Skagway Airport begins around February 16 and lasts for 4.8 months, ending around July 11. On May 15, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 34% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 66% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around July 11 and lasts for 7.2 months, ending around February 16. On October 4, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 79% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 21% of the time.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days at Skagway Airport varies significantly throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 5.3 months, from August 22 to February 3, with a greater than 46% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 64% on October 10. The drier season lasts 6.6 months, from February 3 to August 22. The smallest chance of a wet day is 29% on June 22.

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 Skagway Airport changes throughout the year. Rain alone is the most common for 8.3 months, from March 11 to November 19. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 61% on October 9.

Mixed snow and rain is the most common for 2.2 months, from February 11 to March 11 and from November 19 to December 27. The highest chance of a day with mixed snow and rain is 23% on December 10. Snow alone is the most common for 1.5 months, from December 27 to February 11. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 23% on January 16.

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. Skagway Airport experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall. Rain falls throughout the year at Skagway Airport. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around October 2, with an average total accumulation of 7.1 inches. The least rain falls around February 9, with an average total accumulation of 1.8 inches.

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. Skagway Airport experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 6.8 months, from October 6 to April 30, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around January 16, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 2.6 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 5.2 months, from April 30 to October 6. The least snow falls around July 26, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Sun

The length of the day at Skagway Airport varies extremely over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 6 hours, 2 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 18 hours, 40 minutes of daylight.

The earliest sunrise is at 3:42 AM on June 18, and the latest sunrise is 5 hours, 17 minutes later at 8:59 AM on December 27. The earliest sunset is at 2:59 PM on December 14, and the latest sunset is 7 hours, 24 minutes later at 10:23 PM on June 23.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed at Skagway Airport during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.

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 Skagway 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.

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 Skagway Airport experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 6.6 months, from September 23 to April 11, with average wind speeds of more than 3.1 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is February 25, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.9 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 5.4 months, from April 11 to September 23. The calmest day of the year is May 23, with an average hourly wind speed of 2.2 miles per hour.

The predominant average hourly wind direction at Skagway is from the south throughout the year.

Data Sources

(Courtesy of Weatherspark.com) This report illustrates the typical weather at Skagway Airport, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

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.