WeatherTalk: It's chilly in northern Alaska, despite continuous daylight

In Utqiagvik, the temperature has been mired in the 30s the past week.

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FARGO - In Utqiagvik, Alaska, the northernmost city in the United States and formerly known as Barrow, the summer has lost its edge and turned cool. During June and early July, there had been seven days with high temperatures in the 60s, including a peak temperature of 69 degrees June 26. It has not been as warm as 60 degrees since July 10 and as warm as 50 degrees since July 20.

An unusually heavy rain of an inch and a half fell on July 26 and, since then, the temperature has been mired in the 30s, with several frosty mornings and persistent fog, frequently dense, caused by a cold wind blowing in off the chilly water of the Arctic Ocean. This time of year, the sun barely sets in Utqiagvik, and the sky never becomes dark. Such chilly weather during a time of continuous daylight would seem odd to us, but these conditions are typical of northern Alaska.

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John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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