Sunrise will be at 10:43 am and sunset at 3:12 pm for a whole 4 hours 33 minutes of theoretical sunlight and gaining 5 minutes a day. The sun will be over 6 times its diameter above the horizon at noon, though that’s not enough to get it shining in my south windows. The way the weather’s been lately, it probably wouldn’t be visible anyway. Mostly just cloudy and partly cloudy, but we’ve been getting enough intermittent snow that we now have about 20” on the ground. (The “2” on the right is the 2 foot marker – don’t know why the snow is sticking so badly to the snowstake this year.)

If you click on the image, you can see the sun's disk close to noon, looking south. It's below the diffuse bright spot.

No nice warm snowstorm, though. Daily lows have been running close to 40 below (which is about the temperature we consider cold enough to talk about.) Highs are mostly in the -20°F range, though it was a bit warmer than that yesterday. Miserable weather to drive in, as the snow is dry and loose enough to blow freely, and every passing car leaves a cloud of snow behind it. Whiteout conditions, especially as the roads, the verge, and the sky are all the same shade of white as the blowing snow. Luckily we don’t have much wind. Last Tuesday we did have some ice fog, though not enough to be a serious hazard. Not like the times I couldn’t see the taillights of the cars ahead of me. And the Fairbanks area is in far better shape than Cordova, digging out after a major snow and rain incident, or Nome, where a storm kept winter fuel from arriving at its normal time. A Russian ice-strengthened tanker and a US icebreaker are on their way, but they have to get through over 2 feet of sea ice. (Nome is not on any long-distance grid — road, hydrocarbons, or electricity — so the fuel is desperately needed.)

Still, the days are getting longer, and the seed catalogues are arriving. The sunquat buds are getting fatter – I may have a photo by next week. And the clouds were thin enough Saturday and last night that a glorious nearly full moon, high in the sky, was shining through them. I’ll be watching tonight.

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