Life In Alaska: Daylight vs Darkness

life in alaskaA while back I asked a question on Facebook about what you want to know about Life in Alaska. Several of you responded with great questions and suggestions for me to write about. I have been researching, because Alaska is soo big I need to know about life in the Interior and on the North Slope.

Life here in Southeast is really different than in other parts of the state. I will be sharing my experiences here in Juneau and then facts about other parts.

Today we are going to talk about Daylight vs Darkness. I’m glad we live in Southeast. I don’t think I would make it much further north than here. I like daylight. I like sunshine.

Daylight vs Darkness

Juneau is rather rainy. Actually January 2015 was the rainiest on record. It was hard! We saw one day of sunshine, and I think that may have technically been the end of December. The grey and rain get to me.

Even though we made it past the shortest day of the year (December 21), where we had 6 hours and change of sunlight, I still felt like January was dark.

We are into February now and I can really tell a difference on the daylight hours. The sun is setting between 4:30-5:00pm now. Still early, but better than 3pm.

The sun will be up a little bit longer everyday until our longest day of the year. (June 21) On that day we will have 18 hours and change of sunlight. The sun will never fully set. I will dip down below the horizon, but will still glow for several hours.

The farther north you go the more sunlight you will see in the summer and the less you will see in the winter. In Barrow, Alaska, at the northernmost village, they experience 68 days of darkness in the winter and 68 days of light in the summer. Temperatures are drastically different as well.

I have a graphic that will tell you the daylight hours around the state for each month.




  1. // Reply

    its also been a generally warm and snowless winter here in Seward. Do the mountains make your days shorter in Juneau? We are essentially in a fjord with 5000-6000 foot mountains on each side.

  2. // Reply

    I think I could handle the dark, but not the rain!! Good information!

  3. // Reply

    HAHAHA, literally laughing out loud here. You said you live in the SE of Alaska and you couldn’t live any further north. I say the same thing about us. We live in NORTH GEORGIA and I say I can’t live any further North. HAHAHA! Enjoyed the facts on Alaska. Hope to one day visit. It’s the only state my grandpa didn’t visit.

  4. // Reply

    Wow I could not imagine the daylight vs darkness in Alaska, would take some getting used to for me 🙂

  5. // Reply

    The winter months would drive me crazy I think! It gets very dark in Ireland too. In winter it can be daylight from 8 – 4pm.

    But what really gets me is the cold… and the dark… ok yes it would drive me crazy! Do you ever see the Northern lights?

  6. // Reply

    That’s how it is for us (in Finland) although I think we are a little further north than you are. It’s crazy to think 60 days ago we only had 6-ish hours of dim sunlight. on the summer solstice we’re at about 21 hours of daylight and 3 hours of twilight . Sunset lasts about 3 hours. it’s Awesome!

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    I have been to Alaska once. My sister lived there for two years while they were stationed in Anchorage (Air Force). It was BEAUTIFUL. Below 0 most of the time, but wow was it beautiful!

  8. // Reply

    This is great! I feel like Alaska is the state I know the least about, mostly because in my mind it is so far away, when in reality it’s really not that far. I would had the long periods of darkness, I need my sunshine!

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