UTQIAGVIK, Alaska – Northern Alaska is now home to the only place in the U.S. that will see nonstop sunlight in the annual period known to locals as Midnight Sun.
The sun rose at Utqiaġvik at 2:58 AM AKDT on Tuesday and will not set again until August 2.
The 83 days of sunlight happens every year thanks to Earth’s tilt of the Northern Hemisphere towards the sun during the spring and summer.
Even with 24 hours of daylight, the approximately 5,000 residents will still have to deal with cold temperatures.
The NWS office in Fairbanks, Alaska, reports that July is typically the warmest month for Utqiaġvik, but the average high only reaches a balmy 47 degrees.
Temperatures are warm enough to melt the ice around the Arctic Circle and allow for cargo shipments by barge to reach America’s Last Frontier.
The village government says even though the community has modernized, fishing, hunting and whaling are still staples in the community that is dominated by Iñupiat Alaskan Natives.
Meteorologists say because the Arctic Circle is now home to 24 hours of daylight, the visibility of the northern lights is virtually nonexistent because of the lack of darkness.
The area will quickly lose daylight during the late summer until mid-November when the sun will completely disappear until after the New Year.