Tag Archives: Solstice

The Midnight Sun Game

Alaska Goldpanners at bat at Growden Memorial Park, 12:02am June 22, 2021

The 116th Midnight Sun Baseball Game took place on Monday night. The first pitch for the annual Solstice event was fired off at 10pm. The game is played in its entirety without the use of artificial lights.

The seventh inning stretch usually lands around midnight, with the playing of the Alaska Flag Song. It’s quite the event, and brings out the largest crowd of the season for the Panners.

Growden Park was looking pretty good after some off season renovations, and the Goldpanners are fielding a decent team this year.

The Alaska Goldpanners have hosted the game since 1960, and have a dominating record of 47-14. In 2020, with the Goldpanners in hiatus, the game took place with a men’s league team losing to a Legion All-Star team. The game has never seen artificial light, and it has never been rained out.

On Monday/Tuesday, the Panners defeated the Everett Merchants 3-0.


How awkward

Data courtesy of NOAA and the U.S. Navy

The sun rose in parts of eastern Alaska on Sunday morning, before it had set in parts of western Alaska.


Happy Summer Solstice

The hike to Tolovana

The photo above, which I’ve posted on here before, was taken at midnight on a hike out to Tolovana Hot Springs. At the top of the pass, I took this photo, before dropping down into the hot springs. Most people trek out here in the winter months, by ski, dog sled or snowmachine. We hiked out in June, and it was a slog, but we had the springs to ourselves, which was an incredible few days. Very fond memories.

Fairbanks, in case anyone was curious, will see 21 hours and 49 minutes of daylight, with the rest of the 24 hours being filled in with civil twilight.

The camera, for the above photo, was an old Canon Canonet; the film I believe was Fuji, probably high speed.

May your days be long and filled with sunshine.

Happy Solstice


120 Days

We start gaining darkness in four months.


Losing Darkness

Happy Winter Solstice

Photo credit: University of Alaska Fairbanks

On the Winter Solstice, we neither gain nor lose daylight here in Interior Alaska. The day today will be the same length as yesterday: 3 hours, 47 minutes long.

But tomorrow, tomorrow we will gain 20 seconds. Christmas Eve will see a gain of a minute, and by New Year’s, our daylight will last more than 4 hours.

It’s a big deal here in the north.

Saturn and Jupiter join forces; Credit: NASA/JPL

There will be a double treat in the skies this year, as we get to experience the rare “double conjunction”. Saturn and Jupiter will be so close together in the low southwestern sky, that they will appear as one bright point. The best time for viewing will be one hour after sunset.

The last time Jupiter and Saturn put on this “joint force” in the sky was in 1623.

And for any readers south of the equator:

Cheers!


Already missing our midnight sunsets…

Map credit:@Climatologist49

Our length of day has dropped below 12 hours, here in the Interior of Alaska. 11 hours and 22 minutes, to be exact. The length of visible light has shrunk to 12 hours 59 minutes. Yesterday had 6 minutes and 38 seconds of more daylight.

Sigh.

There have been several hard frosts already, but no snow in Fairbanks. The low, so far at the cabin this autumn, was 22F.

Check those headlamps; it’s all downhill until December 21.


Fairbanks Roundup

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Lots of sun, no sign of ice, but plenty of beaver sign

Summer.  The residents of Interior Alaska live for Alaskan summers.  The difference from winter to summer is extreme.

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Aurora Forecast; Map credit Climatologist Brian Brettschneider

The Aurora viewing season officially came to an end on Sunday.  We have too much daylight, and will not have a chance to see the Northern Lights for 91 days.

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Credit: National Weather Service – Fairbanks

On May 15th, Fairbanks went into our summer period of civil twilight.  We have enough natural light to partake in outdoor activities 24/7.

May 18th is the average date for the final freeze of the spring months in Fairbanks.

From May 29th, until July 14th, the sun will set after midnight.

The Summer Solstice, Fairbanks’ favorite day, is on June 20th.

Night in Fairbanks will turn dark again on September 4th.  A sad day indeed.


December 2019: Cold Snap

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Map credit: National Weather Service & NOAA

Interior Alaska had a decent cold snap drop in for the Winter Solstice and Christmas holiday.  From December 17-28, Fairbanks did not see temperatures climb above zero.  By Alaska standards, the period was neither long nor extreme, but we did make some ice, as they say.  For comparison sake:  The 11 day streak of below zero is tied for 42nd longest in the past 50 years. *

The Koyukuk & Yukon River Valleys saw the largest drops, as Allakaket and Manley Hot Springs fell to -60F and -65F respectively.  The Manley temp was the coldest officially recorded in Alaska since Fort Yukon dipped to -66F in 2012.

Fairbanks officially reached -40F for the first time this season on Dec 27.  That was the only day it dropped down to -40 at the cabin, as well.  We had not seen -40F in Fairbanks since January 12, 2019, which is quite the stretch for us.

On December 28, the Deadhorse airport combined -38F temperatures with a 21 mph breeze, to offer a -73 degree windchill to residents of Prudhoe Bay.

No record lows were set during the 11 day period.  The record low statewide for the month of December is -72F, which happened in Chicken, Alaska on New Year’s Eve of 1999.

In spite of the cold snap, there is little doubt that 2019 will be the warmest on record for Alaska.  Currently, the temp outside the cabin remains above zero, some birch logs are smoldering in the wood stove, and a window is open, as I type this out, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt.

Interior Cabin Life.

*@AlaskaWx 


3 hours, 40 minutes

A video of time-lapse photos by Fairbanks photographer Eric Muehling.  3 hours and 40 minutes compressed into 1 minute and 15 seconds.  The interval between each photograph is 10 seconds.

Now the pendulum swings back, and we start to gain daylight once again.  Life in the Far North.


Happy Winter Solstice

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“High Noon” on the University of Alaska campus in Fairbanks