A look at the weather

Well, there is enough hot air in town to make it a tropical paradise! However, winter driving is still a challenge with only about seven hours of daylight. Driving in daylight is preferred in order for us to see and not run into the moose, elk and deer. Many outdoor activities are possible even with the limited daylight. However, let?s travel a little north.

At the Arctic Circle, latitude 66 33? 00?, the sun does not rise on the winter solstice ? December 21 or 22, the latter being my anniversary ? the longest night! Barrow, the northern most point of Alaska is at 78 86? 10? has no sunrise for 67 days.

The further north one goes the shorter the daylight in winter and the longer the daylight in summer. It must be a challenge to have a ?normal? life during the long winter. Do you think that light bulbs would be a good seller in the north?

The CBC reported (http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/03/09/nu-sun.html#skip300x250) on March 9, 2007 that the Inuit were finding Arctic sun peculiarities. There seems to be more light during the dark days.

This observation is related to a phenomenon that the sun is below the horizon but there is refraction of this sunlight because there is cold dense polar air under warmer thermal layers (thermal inversion). .Polar sunsets have sun disks compressed into a line.

Wayne Davidson who is the resident meteorologist at Resolute Bay has done much research. His web site, http://www.eh2r.com/, explains extremely high horizon refraction and has pictures of the sun disks. January to May 2007 was the warmest in history for the Northern Hemisphere.

The Arctic and the Northern Hemisphere as a whole are getting warmer but, in Tumbler Ridge, we are saying ?Bring it on!?

With snow flying at the Emperor?s Challenge in late July and frost sometimes 12 months of the year, we are wishing that the weather was like it was in the dinosaur years ? tropical. However, beware what we wish for!!