The sun rose in Utqiagvik (Barrow) on Monday for the first time in 2023.
The sun set for the winter on Nov. 19, 2022. On Monday, the sun peeked over the horizon for about one hour and 11 minutes, although the skies were not clear enough to see the sun. Tuesday, America’s northernmost city will get 1 hour, 44 minutes of daylight, although the sun will still be low on the horizon. By January 30, the daylight will have increased to 3 hours, 41 minutes, as sun quickly returns to the far north.
One of the largest Inupiaq communities in Alaska, Utqiagvik is on the Chukchi Sea and is called home by about 4,300 people, many who hunt whales, seals, caribou, and polar bear. It’s a subsistence city incorporated in 1959, and reached only by plane from the rest of Alaska. The town changed its name from Barrow to Utqiagvik after a vote in 2016. The word Utqiagvik means “‘”where wild roots are gathered” and relates to an Inupiaq word meaning “where snowy owls are hunted.”
Temperatures in Utqiagvik will remain below zero on Tuesday, reaching -19 overnight. By Sunday, the temperature may reach as high as 17, a brief respite from the subzero days, which will return next week.