why is alaska dark for half the year

Conversely, in addition to polar night, Barrow also experiences midnight sun (yet another solid potential indie band name). From May 11 or 12, the sun remains in the sky until July 31 or August 1. That's about 80 days of nonstop daylight. but if you're looking for eternal summer, you won't find it here. Even with midnight sun, the town's warmest month, July, only reaches an average high of 47 degrees Farenheit. It's also one of the cloudiest cities in the US, with overcast days accounting for more than half of the year. The fact that there are no roads connecting Barrow to the rest of Alaska makes things even more interesting-- in order to travel anywhere else, you'll have to hop on a plane. P
If all of this sounds like a recipe for a horror movie, you're not the only one. Horror comic book mini series and subsequent film adaptation 30 Days of Night was based on the idea of vampires taking advantage of polar night and the isolation of the town to massacre and feed upon the citizens. but don't worry, it's only fiction!


Mostly, at least. Barrow will soon enter a period of 7-10 weeks without the sun. Barrow experiences between 51-67 days with no sun beginning in November and ending in January, according to fairbanks-alaska. com. Barrow is located on the northern tip of the west coast of Alaska. This location gives Barrow some of the harshest weather there is in Alaska. "Other areas of Alaska may have lower temperatures, but Barrow seems colder due to winds blowing off of the Arctic Ocean," said AccuWeather. com Senior Meteorologist, David Samuhel. "It is rare to see a wind speed below 10 mph. " "Barrow often experiences blizzard conditions due to the blowing snow," he added. "They get an average of 4. 2 inches of [liquid] precipitation a year. " In Barrow it snows every month, but they do not usually get heavy snowfall with accumulation.


In spite of the intense cold and weeks of no sun, Barrow is home to 4,500 people. One of the world's largest Inupiat Eskimo settlements is located in Barrow. Fishing, hunting, and whaling are the way of life for most of the residents. Residents spend time dog sledding, and viewing birds and polar bears. On clear days, it is a good time to view the aurora borealis (northern lights). After the weeks of darkness pass, it is time once again for 11 weeks of sun with no sunset. The sun is up 24-hours a day beginning in early May, and does not set again until early August. "We have grown up with the months of dark and light, and what is normal for you would be abnormal for us," said Papuk Glenn, coordinator of cultural affairs at the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska. "We plan our activities around the cultural calendar, and the calendar is based on the months of dark and light," Glenn said.


The Sea Ice Group at the Geophysical Institute is in Barrow measuring ice thickness. The group is a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Once the darkness begins, the team will experience a shortened work day according to Chris Petrich. Petrich is a research associate with the team. "We use floodlight as an additional light source," Petrich said. The floodlights help the team to see the snow dunes better, and also extends the workday. "Even on the darkest day of the year there is still enough light to be able to read a book outside," said Petrich.

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