I got to see something I don’t think I ever seen in all my travels — not one but two sunrises in a single day, and if it wasn’t as cloudy I could have chalked up a second sunset too.
I flew to the slope today. Since its way further north they have greater swings of daylight. When my plane took off at 9AM this morning, I was able to see the sun come up over the mountains east of Anchorage. The further north we flew, the further the planet earth blocked the sun from us, until the sun went behind the horizon. As we were coming in for a landing, it was making up for time and peaked up just before we went into cloud coverage. Today, Deadhorse, AK is getting a massive 3 hours 2 minutes of daylight, with it coming up just past 11AM (a half hour after our plane landed), and if it wasn’t cloudy I could have seen the sun set at 2:10 this afternoon. All of that reminded me how close the solstice is coming.
Somehow, I only partially noticed the waning daylight in Anchorage. Yeah, days are getting shorter – but with November half over, the rate the days are getting shorter are getting shorter. Confused? Good.
Currently (Sun Nov 17th), there is 7 hours and 4 minutes of daylight in Anchorage. It goes up at 9:12AM and goes down at 4:17PM. Tomorrow, we drop below 7 hours as we lose just under 5 minutes of daylight. The thing I keep reminding people when they ask about the daylight is that when the days are really long during the summer and really short during the winter the change is really fast in between. During the thick of it, you lose (or gain) almost 5 -1/2 minutes of daylight every day. As we grow closer to the solstice, this rate slows, and that’s when you really know you are in the thick of it. At the solstice, we will only have 5-1/2 hours of daylight, but most of the change to the daylight will come in the next three weeks. After that, everything slows to a stop — and you are faced with day after day of darkness.
Unlike the summer, I get to see nearly every sunrise and sunset (weather depending). I may miss it because I sleep in on the weekend, but when it goes up at 9AM, I have to really really sleep in. It is a lot darker a lot more of the time these days, but still doesn’t feel like the non-stop dark that I remember back in November thru March last year. It’s still early … and with a travel schedule I am on I may get to see the differences a lot more.