Thursday, October 2, 2008

Winter, She is a Comin'

As usual I rode my 4 wheeler to work today. I have been wearing just a jacket and gloves lately and that has been enough. This morning while I was warming up my 4 wheeler I thought it might be a good idea to go back inside and get a hat. Good thing cause even with a hat on I froze on the way to work. It's cooooooold. When I got to work and looked at the temp I saw that it was twenty t-t-t-t-two degrees.Alaapaa!

Living in the arctic I am certainly not a hater of winter. There are lots of fun things to be doing in the winter. It's just that after 4 months of nice weather winter always seems to come as a shock to the system, even though you know that it is coming. It's unavoidable, the days start growing shorter and the nights are getting cooler you slip into this kind of denial....until one day you wake up and there is frost all over and suddenly you realize that it is time to order new winter stuff from Cabelas.

Cold is relative. If you live in south Florida 50 degrees is parka weather. ...but it is also relative to those of us who live in the arctic. After months of mild spring and summer weather lots of people here are remarking on the cold. 22 degrees? Brrrr, alaapaa! Come April we'll be saying "22 degrees! Wow it's downright balmy out!" See? It's all relative.

A lot of people ask about the dark. Contrary to popular belief there is not 6 months of light and 6 months of dark in the arctic, especially in Kotzebue. While we have a period of about a month that the sun never sets during the summer, there is never a time in the winter that the sun doesn't rise, at least a few degrees, during the winter. The shortest day of the year has about an hour and forty minutes of sun just barely above the horizon with about an hour of cheap dusk before and after.

These pics are a good example of the low sun we have in the winter.

These pics were taken later in the winter when the sun is a bit higher on the horizon than it is in November, December and January.

The lack of significant light during the winter has never really affected me much. By the time I am getting sick of the dark it is about January and the days are already getting longer. By the time April rolls around the sun is setting around 11pm and it's bright enough all night that you can no longer see stars (until mid august.)

Woo....that's more than I have written in a post for a long time. Enough.


Kathleen Taylor said...

I know what you mean about relative temps- we don't get as cold or as dark, but we have plenty of below zero weather and high winds all winter. Still, the coldest days are those first damp cold ones, when it's around 35 degrees and wet. By the time we get to steady -10, it's too dry to pack snow, and we're out shoveling in sweatshirts and gloves if the sun is shining.

I hope you don't mind that I linked to your blog from mine. I love seeing your pictures.

Conchscooter said...

Blood thins and thickens.people who don't pay attention don't beleive it, but human adapatability is part of what has allowed people to live in a wild variety of climates across the globe. Knowing my luck I would miss the entire 90 minutes of sunlight on a distratced day and that would be awful if that was all I got for 24 hours.

Anonymous said...

Oh joy! It's great to see snow again.

I'm gonna get out there an do my snow dance. Perhaps Saturday night where no booze is allowed. LOL

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...