The sun will rise at 9:06 this morning, and set 7 hours 59 minutes later at 5:05 this afternoon. I actually was able to stop at the grocery store on my way home from my writing group yesterday, and still got home before sunset. Driving has become a little more comfortable with the sun high enough I can use the visor to shade my eyes.

The weather is finally seasonable (read: cold.) Not all that cold for Interior Alaska, and certainly not record cold, but we’re not expected to see temperatures above 0°F, day or night, for at least the next week. Good thing we got a little more snow last week, so we have almost 2’ to insulate the ground. Clear skies are expected today, though, which this time of year goes with the low temperatures and inversions. It might cloud over and give us a little more snow by the end of the week, but that ridge I was worried about over the Bering Strait is firmly in place.

Our warm January was not without negative effects. The Yukon Quest, a week-long sled dog race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, finished this morning after major problems, some of which were associated with the amount of open water on the Yukon River. Some of the trails used by the race are on the river ice, and this year the ice wasn’t all there. At this point I have no idea if the head injury suffered by one of the lead mushers had anything to do with the weather.

At least it’s far enough along toward spring that we have daylight again.