Tag Archive: Alaska

North Pole Weather 11/3/14

The sun will rise this morning at 8:46 (standard time) and set 7 hours and 36 minutes later at 4:22 this afternoon. We had a fair amount of snow last week in the sense I could see it snowing outside the window, but the accumulation is still very minor.

Next week? Partly cloudy, with temperatures back and forth around 0°F.

I’m about the same, oxygen requirements decreasing very slowly, edema in my legs and feet almost gone. Still very little appetite. I hope I get to feeling better soon.


The sun will rise at 9:23 this morning and set 8 hours and 23 minutes later at 5:46. Temperatures? Skimming 0°F at night for the next week and generally 20’s in the daytime. Not that I’ve been out in it.

I’m still in the assisted living home, but the oxygen situation seems much better. At the moment, sitting in front of the computer, my blood oxygen is staying above 90 with no added oxygen. (97 at the moment I write this.) I still need a little when I’m exercising, but less and less with time.

The sun will rise this morning at 9, and set 9 hours and 10 minutes later at 6:10. Weather? Well, I haven’t been outdoors much, but the weather report says back and forth through freezing this week. I doubt the snow will that, though.

I’m now in an assisted living facility, still tethered tp the oxygen supply. Just as well I didn’t try to go home, as I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have come close to managing.

Hospital window 10-11-14The sun will rise this morning at 8:38 in the morning, and set 9 hours and 57 minutes later at 6:35 this evening. Weather? There’s snow on the ground, with about an even chance whether it’s going to be the start of the seasonal snowpack. Temperatures for the next few days are expected to go back and forth through freezing, with both rain and snow forecast.

All I can tell for sure out of the hospital window is that the ground is white and the sky hazy. Yes, still the hospital. I’m out of the ICU, but still very dependent on oxygen and probably stuck here for the next few days, at least.

After that? Still very much up in the air.

View out the hospital widow when I'm walking for exercise.

View out the hospital widow when I’m walking for exercise.

The sun will rise today in Fairbanks at 7:34 in the morning, and set 12 hours 16 minutes later at 7:51 pm. Yes, it’s the equinox today – at 6:29 pm, to be exact. But equinox does not mean 12 hour days


In the first place, sunset and sunrise are defined by when the top edge of the sun touches the horizon. Twelve hour days would be true if the center of the sun was the defining point.

Second, where you see the sun is not where it is actually located, especially when it is near the horizon. Even seen a road mirage where it looks as if a hot road is covered with water? What you are really seeing is the light of the sky, bent by the strong temperature gradient near the road. The opposite kind of bending occurs when the air near the ground is denser that that higher up, which is the normal case in the atmosphere. In this case, the sun looks higher in the sky than is really the case. The result is that days at the equinox are really a little bit longer than the nights.

It didn’t rain much in Fairbanks between the first few days in September and the last weekend, though we did get a good dollop last Saturday. Anchorage (I’m still in the hospital there) has been making up for it. Well over 4″ so far, and raining most of the time I’ve been in the hospital here.

Sunflowers Tina

Jut to prove sunflowers can be grown in Alaska

Just to prove sunflowers can be grown in Alaska.

The sun will rise this morning at 6:53, and set 13 hours 50 minutes later at 8:42 this evening, giving us a day 6 minutes 40 seconds shorter than yesterday. We now have true astronomical night (sun more than 18° below the horizon) for a couple of hours, starting after midnight. The first two days in September gave us more rain than we get in an average whole month of September, so while it’s clear right now, I’m not counting on it staying that way. Clear this time of year means frost danger, anyway.And the forecast for this week is mostly clear to slightly cloudy, with forecast lows in the high 20’s to low 30’s.


This one was taken when I was a postdoc at NCAR in the early 70’s/

Alaska and sunflowers are a chancy combination in September, as we’re already looking over our shoulders for Jack Frost. (Looking over our shoulders? We’ve already had several hard frosts.) But I know where to find a garden of 6 ‘ sunflowers, and I stopped and took a picture on my way to the Farmers’ Market last week. (Good thing I did it in late August, because when I went by two days ago the frost had taken them.) I also have a nice sunflower photo I took sometime in 1971, while I was at NCAR and taking wildflower photos on the Mesa. So while I didn’t purchase or plant a sunflower in Tina Downey’s memory, I am posting these two photos in honor of a much-missed blogging voice. Rest in peace, Tina.

Plastic on the squash bed

Plastic on the squash bed

The sun will rise this morning at 6:31, and set 14 hours and 36 minutes later at 9:08 this evening. We’re now losing about 6 minutes 43 seconds a day. It’s starting to feel like fall, though, if not quite like winter. The official airport temperature hasn’t dropped below freezing yet, though it reached 33 °F Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure it was colder out my way.

Frost nip on the pineapple sage

Frost nip on the pineapple sage

I’ve put the plastic cover on the squash, put row cover on the potted mints, and started bringing the rest of the potted plants into the garage overnight. I also separated the hoses from the outdoor faucets. Even “frostproof” fittings can be damaged by freezing if the hoses are left attached. So far the only actual frost damage I’ve seen was discoloration of the growing tips of the pineapple sage. The forecast suggests slight warming next week, but lows are still forecast in the 30’s.

It’s dried out a little, though it’s now official: 2014 was the wettest summer in nearly a hundred year of records in Fairbanks. Certainly it’s the first summer I’ve had to do almost no watering!

P.S. September 2: already in September we’ve had more precipitation than is normal for all of September, and frost is predicted for Wednesday night.

Sunflower QuiltThe sun will rise today at 6:10 and set 15 hours and 24 minutes later at 9:34 pm. I can no longer drive places in the evening without checking the time, and we now have astronomical twilight (sun between 12 and 18° below the horizon) for about 2 hours just after midnight.

Lemon PhaleonopsisWe’ve had a few more showers, but we still haven’t reached 2” for August. We are almost half an inch above normal, though. Temperature has also been slightly above normal, but that’s still mostly in the high 60’s in the daytime. As far as the forecast is concerned, mostly cloudy with chances of rain and normal temperatures for the next week.

I’m thinking more of house plants now, and couldn’t resist an orchid. Hope I can get it to rebloom.

Quilt BThe sun will rise this morning at 5:48 , and set 16 hours 12 minutes later at 9:59 this evening. It will drop 12° below the horizon tonight—almost astronomical twilight.

It’s mostly been in the 70’s or high 60’s, with nighttime lows still well above freezing. We’ve had a little more rain, but mostly it’s just been occasional showers, and the forecast for next week is more of the same.

Sharon came by Thursday. She helped me with the chickweed and gave the herbs and mints a much-needed haircut. Some of the herbs, such as the pineapple sage and the parsley, were shading out the others. The trimmings will go to people who can use them – I use fresh herbs, but not that many! She also helped trim the lower leaves on the zucchini, finding a 7 ½ pounder that I took to the food bank Friday. I took a photo with my iPhone, but I can’t seem to get it to import*, so another quilt from the quilt show will have to do for today.

*Turned out to be the USB daisy chain. Here it is.Zucchini

Pink Lillies 8:9:14The sun will rise at 5:25 this morning, and set 17 hours later at 10:25 this evening. I’m glad to say it has finally quit raining and warmed up, though there are a few showers forecast this week.

The last few days of the fair were quite nice, with temperatures in the 70’s. I managed a brief visit most days, though I concentrated on the horse shows. The giant vegetables weren’t all that gigantic this year, due no soubt to the relatively cool, wet, summer. The lilies are finally blooming in my garden – one of the few plants that are perennial up here. I’m also getting a few late strawberries.

For most of the summer, the local chapter of the Alaska Writers’ Guild has been selling (or at least trying to sell) books at the Farmers’ Market. That’s over for the season, as two of the three authors are though for the season, and I’m having problems with cancer again.

Not too bad, I hope, but my CA125 is rising and I just went through a CT scan. The radiation oncologist says no immediate problem, and I’m seeing the doctor in Anchorage the second week in September which he seemed to think was fine. I do hope I don’t need chemotherapy again.