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Utqiagvik sees first sunrise of 2021

Last sunset for Utqiagvik this year, with the sun not rising again until January 22, 2021
Last sunset for Utqiagvik this year, with the sun not rising again until January 22, 2021(Kathleen Attungana)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 1:54 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The journey into never-ending daylight is quickly gaining traction, as Utqiagivk officially saw the first sunrise of 2021.

Following 66 days of polar night, the sun officially broke the horizon at 1:16 AKST. While the sun will only be up for nearly 50 minutes, the remainder of this month will see America’s northernmost city gain an additional three hours and 17 minutes. It’s this fast gain in daylight that marks an upcoming seasonal change in Alaska. While winter will still hold on for a few more months across the state, the increase in daylight marks the journey into 24-hours of daylight. Despite the sunrise, weather conditions in the area made it hard to see. Visibility has been greatly reduced through the area due to strong easterly winds and blowing snow.

Utqiagvik will continue to gain daylight quickly at first and then level off at around 10 minutes a day. The journey into 24 hours of daylight is fast, as it will only take a little over two and a half months for the midnight sun to arrive.

Starting on May 10th, Utqiagvik will see the sunrise at 2:52 AKDT and won’t see the sunset again until August 2nd at 1:56 AKDT.

Here are the longest days experienced for select locations across Alaska

- Utqiagvik - 24 hours

- Kotzebue - 24 hours

- Livengood - 23 hours 6 minutes

- Fairbanks - 21 hours 49 minutes

- Nome - 21 hours 28 minutes

- Anchorage - 19 hours 21 minutes

- Bethel - 19 hours 11 minutes

- Adak - 16 hours 42 minutes

- Juneau - 18 hours 16 minutes

- Ketchikan - 17 hours 27 minutes

While Anchorage will see nearly 19 and a half hours of daylight, the area will still experience what amounts to nearly 24 hours of daylight. This is due to the area only getting as dark as civil twilight when there is still enough light to continue outdoor activities. For Anchorage, this occurs from June 8th to July 4th.

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