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Sun Sets for the Final Time in Alaska

19 Nov 2021, 6:06 pm

Utqiagvik, Alaska (formerly known as Barrow) has entered what is known as “polar night”. That means the sun has set for the final time and won’t rise again for another 65 days! Set your calendar reminder for January 22nd, 2022 because that’s when Utqiagvik will see the sun again (pending cloud cover!)

On Thursday as the sun was setting around 1:30 p.m. local time, the city had a very decent sunset and night sky!

Right now, we are about two-thirds of the way between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice. In this image above, just go about two-thirds of the way left of where it says Sep 22-23 and that’s where you’ll find where we currently sit. Note the Northern Hemisphere, where Utqiagvik is, and how the location tilts away from the sun at this point of the year. The tilt is so great that, relative to ground level in northern Alaska, the sun never lifts above the horizon during parts of the winter.

So it’s a goodnight to the folks in Utqiagvik until next year. Conversely, northern Alaska experiences non-stop daylight around the Summer Solstice where the sun never sets for weeks on end.

About the author
Summer of 1993, New England Dragway. That's when and where Steve knew he wanted to become a meteorologist. More than 20 years later he is extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to live his childhood dream. As a lover of math and science, Steve had a consistent interest in weather in elementary, middle, and high school before discovering you can major in meteorology. He attended Lyndon State Co... Load Morellege in Vermont where he received a bachelor's in meteorology-broadcasting and associate's in television news. He has worked as a meteorologist and reporter in Winchester, VA, Burlington, VT, and most recently in West Palm Beach, FL. He's recognized by the American Meteorological Society with the Certification of Broadcast Meteorologists.