The pic. above is from the Utqiagvik (Barrow) webcam. Utqiagvik is north of the Arctic Circle. This is the land of the “midnight sun”. The sun rose here on May 11th and won’t set until August 2nd. In winter, the sun disappears on November 18th and rises again on January 23rd. Today at solar noon, the sun is Utqiagvik is 42° above the horizon – that’s how high the sun is now at 5:17 pm in Grand Rapids.

The weather station at the Barrow Airport in Utqiagvik reached 42° on June 5th – that was the first time the temperature had risen above 40° since October 6, 2022. The average high temperature here ranges from -5.2F in January to 47.7F in July. The warmest it has ever been at the Barrow Airport is 79°F set on July 13, 1993. The coldest was -56°F on February 3, 1924.

Last summer, the warmest temperature here was 69° and the coldest last winter was -37°, The warmest temperature in April 2023 was 1° Builand the average temperature for the month was -2.4F. That was only 1/2 degree warmer than March. In April they were 7° colder than average.

Far northern Alaska is a very cold desert. Utqiagvik is gets only 5.39″ of precipitation per year. Much of that falls as snow as you might expect. In fact, in a typical year, they get at least a little snow in each of the summer months. They average 47.7″ of snow a year, about 30″ less than Grand Rapids. On average, the snowiest month of the year at the Barrow Airport is October.

Snow and ice cover in northern North America

They are surrounded on 3 sides by the Arctic Ocean, which is solid ice much of the year, though it does thaw out for several months from mid-summer to early fall. Above is the latest map snowing there there is snow and ice. The Brooks Range in northern Alaska is still covered with snow, as are the mountains from southern Alaska to just north of Washington State.

Great Slave Lake and most of Hudson Bay are still ice covered. There is still some snow cover in far northern Labrador, northern Quebec and northern Nunavut.

Since everything has to be flown into Utqiagvik – prices are expensive. Check out the latest food ad specials at the local supermarket. The average household income is roughly $70,000. Buildings have to be built above the ground. Otherwise they would sink into the permafrost.

Here’s a few more pictures taken early this morning from Alaska:

This is Port Hope on the northwest coast of Alaska. The ocean is still ice-covered and thereare lots of snow piles.

Gambell, Alaska early Thursday 6 8 23

This pic. is from the FAA camera at the Gambell Airport. Gambell is a village of approx. 635 people on St. Lawrence Island off the west coast of Alaska. At the airport, the warmest temperature ever has been 71°. Here, the average high temperature in June is 43°.

Denali National Park, AK, Wonder Lake

This is a grab from a webcam in Denali National Park. Denali is the tallest mountain in North America. Mountain climbers that attempt to climb the mountain come from late-May through mid-July and they have to cope with brutal winter weather. Here’s the current Denali summit forecast:


TONIGHT…Partly cloudy. Lows 10 to 20 below. Southeast winds 30
to 40 mph.
.THURSDAY…Partly cloudy. Highs 10 to 20 below. Southeast winds
30 to 40 mph.
.THURSDAY NIGHT…Mostly cloudy. Lows 15 to 25 below. Southeast
winds 30 to 40 mph.

Another picture from near Denali

Snow on the mountains, no leaves on the trees yet.

Hard to see, but this looks like a weak “fogbow” – from the Barrow AK webcam