Icefjord Midnight Marathon

7 June 2020

Climate & Weather in Greenland

Below you can read about typical race day weather, Greenland's climate, and see the average weather conditions in Ilulissat and Kangerlussuaq.

Greenland's Climate

Visitors overlook the Ilulissat Icefjord from Sermermiut The entirety of Greenland is located in the polar climate zone. This means that, in general, it stays cool all year-round, but there are large variations from region to region. In fact, the weather can even vary from one valley to the next! This is because there are a number of factors that affect the climate in Greenland, such as the surrounding coastline and the inland ice sheet. 

Packing for the Arctic Circle is all about layers. The inner layer of clothing should be focused on warming up your body, and the outer layers on wind and weather protection. With an arctic climate, rapid weather changes should be expected. A day can shift from clear sunshine to a snowstorm in the blink of an eye, and thus visitors need to come prepared.  

 

Temperature & Precipitation

See the average temperatures and precipitation per month below in the tables. 

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Ilulissat                        
Day time temperature -10°C  / 14°F -10°C  / 14°F -9°C  / 16°F -4°C  / 25°F 4°C  / 39°F 9°C  / 48°F 12°C  / 54°F 10°C  / 50°F 5°C  / 41°F -1°C  / 30°F -4°C  / 25°F -8°C  / 18°F
Night time temperature -17°C  / 1°F -18°C  / 0°F -17°C  / 1°F -13°C  / 9°F -3°C  / 27°F 3°C  / 37°F 5°C  / 41°F 4°C  / 39°F -1°C  / 30°F -7°C  / 19°F -11°C  / 12°F -15°C  / 5°F
Precipitation (mm) 10 mm  / .39 in  10 mm  / .39 in  13 mm  / .51 in  15 mm  / .59 in  18 mm  /  .71 in  19 mm  / .75 in  32 mm  /  1.26 in  32 mm  / 1.26 in  41 mm  / 1.61 in  32 mm  / 1.26 in  21 mm  / .83 in  17 mm  / .67 in 

 

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Kangerlussuaq                        
Day time temperature -16°C  / 3°F -18°C  / 0°F -13°C  / 9°F -4°C  / 25°F 6°C  / 43°F 13°C  / 55°F 15°C  / 59°F 13°C  / 55°F 7°C  / 45°F -3°C  / 27°F -8°C  / 18°F -10°C  / 14°F
Night time temperature -22°C  / -8°F -24°C  / -11°F -21°C  / -6°F -12°C  / 10°F -1°C  / 30°F 4°C  / 39°F 6°C  / 43°F 4°C  / 39°F 0°C  / 32°F -9°C  / 16°F -16°C  / 3°F -19°C  / -2°F
Precipitation (mm / in) 5 mm  / .2 in  3 mm  / .12 in  2 mm  / .08 in  8 mm  / .32 in  5 mm  / .2 in  12 mm  / .47 in  22 mm  / .87 in  28 mm  / 1.1 in  17 mm  / .67 in  12 mm  /  .47 in  11 mm  / .43 in  4 mm  / .16 in 

Source: DMI

 

Expectations at Icefjord Midnight Marathon

In June, the arctic summer is beginning. This means, for one thing, constant daylight. The sun never sets in Ilulissat from late May to late July. However, the sun does not imply that it will be hot - north of the Arctic Circle, warmth is fleeting, and especially in early summer. Participants should prepare for the day to be chilly, with an average temperature between 6 and 7°C (43 - 45°F). 

Ilulissat averages about 5 days of rain in June, so there is naturally a small chance that the race will see some rain. That said, June is known as a dry month in Greenland.