Average Weather in Nuuk Greenland
In Nuuk, the summers are cold; the winters are long, freezing, snowy, and windy; and it is overcast year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 11°F to 50°F and is rarely below -1°F or above 55°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Nuuk for warm-weather activities is from mid July to early August.
The warm season lasts for 3.0 months, from June 9 to September 11, with an average daily high temperature above 43°F. The hottest day of the year is July 24, with an average high of 50°F and low of 42°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.7 months, from December 4 to March 27, with an average daily high temperature below 25°F. The coldest day of the year is February 24, with an average low of 11°F and high of 19°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 Nuuk, 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 Nuuk begins around August 25 and lasts for 2.9 months, ending around November 23. On October 17, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 42% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 58% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 23 and lasts for 9.1 months, ending around August 25. On February 4, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 83% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 17% 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 in Nuuk varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 6.0 months, from June 13 to December 14, with a greater than 25% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 34% on August 13.
The drier season lasts 6.0 months, from December 14 to June 13. The smallest chance of a wet day is 16% on February 21.
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 Nuuk changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 7.0 months, from April 13 to November 12. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 34% on August 13.
Snow alone is the most common for 5.0 months, from November 12 to April 13. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 17% on December 13.
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. Nuuk experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 8.7 months, from March 25 to December 17, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around August 16, with an average total accumulation of 3.5 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 3.3 months, from December 17 to March 25. The least rain falls around January 6, with an average total accumulation of 0.3 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. Nuuk experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 7.6 months, from October 3 to May 22, 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 12, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 1.0 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 4.4 months, from May 22 to October 3. The least snow falls around August 4, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Nuuk varies extremely over the course of the year. In 2021, the shortest day is December 21, with 4 hours, 6 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 21 hours, 11 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 2:53 AM on June 20, and the latest sunrise is 7 hours, 30 minutes later at 10:23 AM on December 24. The earliest sunset is at 2:27 PM on December 18, and the latest sunset is 9 hours, 37 minutes later at 12:04 AM on June 21.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Nuuk during 2021, starting in the spring on March 27, lasting 7.1 months, and ending in the fall on October 30.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2021. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases
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 Nuuk, 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 Nuuk experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.3 months, from September 24 to May 1, with average wind speeds of more than 9.7 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 21, with an average hourly wind speed of 12.1 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.8 months, from May 1 to September 24. The calmest day of the year is July 14, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.3 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Nuuk varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 4.2 months, from May 8 to September 15, with a peak percentage of 44% on August 14. The wind is most often from the north for 7.8 months, from September 15 to May 8, with a peak percentage of 40% on January 1.
Nuuk 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 2.5 months, from July 4 to September 19, with an average temperature above 38°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 8, with an average temperature of 40°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 4.9 months, from December 7 to May 4, with an average temperature below 33°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is February 27, with an average temperature of 31°F.
Average Water Temperature
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Nuuk 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 Nuuk for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid July to early 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.
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 Nuuk typically lasts for 3.9 months (118 days), from around May 30 to around September 25, rarely starting before May 13 or after June 16, and rarely ending before September 8 or after October 12.
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.
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 2.6 months, from May 6 to July 24, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 4.5 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 9, with an average of 5.6 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 4.7 months, from October 14 to March 3, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 1.1 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 24, with an average of 0.0 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Nuuk are 64.183 deg latitude, -51.722 deg longitude, and 46 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Nuuk contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 974 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 54 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (3,937 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (5,348 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Nuuk is covered by sparse vegetation (68%), water (17%), and snow and glaciers (12%), within 10 miles by sparse vegetation (48%) and water (35%), and within 50 miles by water (52%) and sparse vegetation (25%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Nuuk, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Nuuk is further than 200 kilometers from the nearest reliable weather station, so the weather-related data on this page were taken entirely from NASA's MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis . 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.
The temperature and dew point estimates are corrected for the difference between the reference elevation of the MERRA-2 grid cell and the elevation of Nuuk, according to the International Standard Atmosphere .
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.
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 airports 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.