Next Time The Sun Will Set is Aug. 2nd

Bill's Blog
Barrow Midnight Sunshine_1526000458499.jpg.jpg

Utqiaġvik, Alaska (formerly known and still known to many as Barrow, Alaska) is the northernmost town in the U.S.  At 71.17 deg. north latitude, it’s well north of the Arctic Circle.  That means they get 24 hours of daylight in the summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter.  Today, the sun rose in Utqiaġvik at 1:59 am.  It won’t set again until August 2nd.  This winter, the sun will set on Nov. 18th and won’t rise again until next Jan 22nd.  You can check out the Barrow webcam anytime of the day or night to see the 24-hour daylight. 

Despite all the sunshine, Utqiaġvik is a cold place.  The high temperature today was 24 deg. and the airport still reported 12″ of snow on the ground.  The last time it was 40 deg. in Utqiaġvik was Sept. 14th and the last time it was 50 deg. was August 10th.  The warmest temp. ever in Utqiaġvik was 79 deg. on July 13, 1993 and the coldest was -56F on Feb. 3, 1924.  This pic. looks north over the Arctic Ocean, which is frozen over from late-October through mid-July.  Despite the cold, Utqiaġvik averages only 30″ of snow per year, though “ground blizzards” with low visibilities are common.  The town has a population of about 4,210, of which 61% are Native Alaskans (Eskimo).  The average family income is $69,000 and only 7% of residents are below the poverty line.  There are no paved roads, due to the permafrost and there are no roads connecting the town to the rest of Alaska. 

This picture taken Thurs. evening (5/10/18) is Wainwright, Alaska.  It looks like mid-January.  Wainwright is on the coast to the southwest of Barrow.  On Thurs. (5/10), Kotzebue AK still had 24″ of snow on the ground, Nuiqsut had 13″ and Bettles reported a 10″ snow depth. 

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