FI know, I usually title this segment North Pole weather, since I live in North Pole, Alaska. But North Pole is a suburb of Fairbanks, less than half an hour’s drive away, and to be honest (being lazy) the sunrise and sunset times I give are from a website, and are for Fairbanks. To be precise, they are for the intersection of Airport Road and Cushman Street, about halfway between my home and the airport where the official weather forecast is valid. I could calculate the times of sunrise and sunset myself. In fact, I once devised an Excel spreadsheet that made that calculation for any latitude and longitude. But it was on a ZIP disk, and the disk failed. Anyway, the times from the website are accurate to within a few seconds — more accurate than the assumption that the refraction of the sun’s rays is always the same.

Moose tracks in my front yard

Moose tracks in my front yard

With that confession out of the way, sunrise this morning will be at 6:45, and the sun will set 14 hours 19 minutes later at 9:03 this evening. This is actually the last night we will have astronomical night; it will not get darker than astronomical twilight (sun between 12° and 18° below the horizon) again until late summer. We’re still gaining 6 minutes 47 seconds a day, and the sun at noon is now over 32° above the horizon. Weather? Still around freezing in the daytime and near zero at night. Not much snow has melted, except where the snow was cleared artificially and dark surfaces are warming in the sun. The back yard still has 22″ and light snow began Sunday. The moose are out; I’ve seen tracks in my yard. Needless to say there are no flowers outdoors yet!

P.S. 8 am: It snowed 2″ overnight and it’s still snowing — a fine, light snow that piles up very slowly, but the snow stake in my yard is back up to 2′. According to the radio, the first geese arrived last Friday, but Creamers’ Field is a waterfowl refuge and they generally plow part of the field so the birds have a place to land and feed. I’ll look later today.

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