Alaska News

With its last sunset until August, Barrow begins season of perpetual daylight

It's out of the darkness and into perpetual light for the community of Barrow.

The northernmost community in the United States saw the sun rise at 2:37 a.m. Monday, and it won't set again until 2:09 a.m. Aug. 2.

Dave Anderson, local manager of the Barrow National Weather Service station, said it wasn't possible to see the sunset early Monday morning. Cloud cover and some light snow flurries kept the sun tucked away.

"It just got a little dim and then started getting bright again," Anderson said of the short 28 minutes between sunset and sunrise Monday.

Anderson said that overcast weather still lingered Monday afternoon, with temperatures hovering at 31 degrees, a typical temperature for this time of year.

He said some people in the community of about 4,000 would be celebrating the sunset. For Anderson, who has lived in the Arctic community since 1996, the sunlight is more difficult to deal with than the perpetual darkness of winter.

"The sun is up and your body is up and saying, 'Go out and do things,'" he said. "Eventually your body says, 'Go lay down,' after 36 hours."

Meanwhile, locals are going to enjoy the daylight. Anderson said the community will go to back to perpetual darkness at 1:15 p.m. Nov. 19, after which they won't see the sun rise again until Jan. 23, 2016.

Suzanna Caldwell

Suzanna Caldwell is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in 2017.