Barrow, Alaska

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Utqiaġvik

ᐅᑦᕿᐊᒡᕕᒃ

Barrow
City of Utqiaġvik
Street view of Utqiaġvik in July 2008. This street, like all the others in Utqiaġvik, has been left unpaved due to the prevalence of permafrost.
Street view of Utqiaġvik in July 2008. This street, like all the others in Utqiaġvik, has been left unpaved due to the prevalence of permafrost.
Motto(s): 
The Northernmost American City
Utqiaġvik is located in Alaska
Utqiaġvik
Utqiaġvik
Location within Alaska
Coordinates: 71°17′26″N 156°47′19″W / 71.29056°N 156.78861°W / 71.29056; -156.78861Coordinates: 71°17′26″N 156°47′19″W / 71.29056°N 156.78861°W / 71.29056; -156.78861[1]
CountryUnited States
StateAlaska
BoroughNorth Slope
IncorporatedJune 8, 1959[2]
Government
 • City MayorFannie Suvlu
 • Borough mayorHarry Brower, Jr
 • State SenatorDonny Olson (D)
 • State RepVacant (D) (Awaiting appointment)
Area
 • Total21.50 sq mi (55.68 km2)
 • Land18.84 sq mi (48.79 km2)
 • Water2.66 sq mi (6.89 km2)
Elevation10 ft (3 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total4,212
 • Estimate 
(2016)
4,335
 • Density201.66/sq mi (77.86/km2)
Time zoneUTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
99723 [4]
Area code907
FIPS code02-05200 [1]
GNIS ID1398635 [1]
Websitewww.utqiagvik.us
English (Welcome to Barrow) and Inupiat (Paġlagivsigiñ Utqiaġvigmun)

Barrow (/ˈbær/), also known as Utqiaġvik[5][6] (Inupiaq: [ut.qe.ɑʁ.βik], English: /ˌʊtkiˈɑːvɪk/ UUT-kee-AH-vik),[7] is a city in Alaska. It is the northernmost city of the United States of America. It is the administrative capital of the North Slope Borough.

Barrow is well known because of its unusual location in the United States. It is located on the north coast of Alaska along the Arctic Ocean. There are about 2,100 kilometers between Barrow and the North Pole.

Because Barrow is located above the Arctic Circle, there are times of the year during which the sun never sets, and other times when it never rises above the horizon. Instead of dipping below the horizon every day, during the summer the sun circles around the sky above the horizon. The sun sets on November 18 or 19, and remains below the horizon for about 65 days — that is, until the end of January. In the middle of this polar night (December 21-22), the sky is completely dark all the time, except for about 3 hours of twilight.

Although Barrow is in the land of the North American continent, Barrow is isolated from any other city. There is no road connecting Barrow and other places in Alaska, which means that travelers can only get their by plane for much of the year. They could travel there by boat, but it's not feasible as the water off the shore is rarely melted.

Climate[change | change source]

The climate is very cold in Barrow. Temperatures are below freezing from mid October until late May. The high temperature is above freezing for only about 130-140 days per year, and there are temperatures at or below 0 °F (−18 °C) on an average of 150 days per year. Summers in Barrow are cool with only 26 days above 50°F (10°C) occasionally reaching above 65°F (18°C). Winters are extremely cold and dry with temperatures at or below -40°F/C sometimes occurring. The average yearly temperature in Barrow is 13.6 °F (−10.2 °C). The highest temperature recorded in Barrow was 79 °F (26 °C) on July 13, 1993 and the lowest temperature was −56 °F (−49 °C) on February 4, 1924. Barrow is warming quickly due to being in the Arctic. The Arctic region is warming at rate roughly three times the global mean. Smoothed data from NOAA shows that Barrow has warmed by more than 11°F since 1976 with average autumn temperature warming at a staggering 18°F (10°C).[8] [9] Freezing temperatures, and snowfall, can occur at any time during the year.[10]

Climate data for Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska (Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport, 1991−2020 normals,[11] extremes 1901–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 36
(2)
36
(2)
34
(1)
42
(6)
47
(8)
73
(23)
79
(26)
76
(24)
62
(17)
44
(7)
39
(4)
34
(1)
79
(26)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 19
(−7)
17
(−8)
17
(−8)
28
(−2)
38
(3)
59
(15)
65
(18)
61
(16)
51
(11)
36
(2)
29
(−2)
20
(−7)
67
(19)
Average high °F (°C) −5.2
(−20.7)
−5.6
(−20.9)
−3.8
(−19.9)
10.5
(−11.9)
26.9
(−2.8)
40.9
(4.9)
47.7
(8.7)
44.5
(6.9)
37.1
(2.8)
25.6
(−3.6)
11.2
(−11.6)
−0.5
(−18.1)
19.1
(−7.2)
Daily mean °F (°C) −11.5
(−24.2)
−12.0
(−24.4)
−10.5
(−23.6)
4.0
(−15.6)
22.7
(−5.2)
36.0
(2.2)
41.7
(5.4)
39.8
(4.3)
33.6
(0.9)
21.2
(−6.0)
5.3
(−14.8)
−6.4
(−21.3)
13.7
(−10.2)
Average low °F (°C) −17.8
(−27.7)
−18.3
(−27.9)
−17.2
(−27.3)
−2.6
(−19.2)
18.4
(−7.6)
31.1
(−0.5)
35.6
(2.0)
35.1
(1.7)
30.2
(−1.0)
16.8
(−8.4)
−0.5
(−18.1)
−12.4
(−24.7)
8.2
(−13.2)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −38
(−39)
−39
(−39)
−36
(−38)
−23
(−31)
-0
(−18)
24
(−4)
30
(−1)
29
(−2)
20
(−7)
−5
(−21)
−21
(−29)
−32
(−36)
−43
(−42)
Record low °F (°C) −53
(−47)
−56
(−49)
−52
(−47)
−42
(−41)
−19
(−28)
4
(−16)
22
(−6)
20
(−7)
1
(−17)
−32
(−36)
−40
(−40)
−55
(−48)
−56
(−49)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.14
(3.6)
0.20
(5.1)
0.17
(4.3)
0.17
(4.3)
0.28
(7.1)
0.42
(11)
0.97
(25)
1.08
(27)
0.77
(20)
0.53
(13)
0.34
(8.6)
0.20
(5.1)
5.30
(135)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.6
(9.1)
3.8
(9.7)
2.8
(7.1)
3.6
(9.1)
3.4
(8.6)
0.7
(1.8)
0.2
(0.51)
0.7
(1.8)
4.3
(11)
10.2
(26)
8.0
(20)
4.9
(12)
47
(120)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inches or 0.25 millimetres) 5 5 5 5 6 6 10 12 14 14 10 7 99
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 inches or 0.25 centimetres) 7 8 7 8 8 2 1 2 8 17 14 10 92
Average relative humidity (%) 72.7 70.0 70.9 76.8 87.0 88.5 87.9 91.1 90.6 85.6 79.4 74.0 81.2
Source #1: NOAA (relative humidity and dew point 1961–1990)[9][12][13][14]
Source #2: Weather Atlas (sun and uv)[15]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) details for Barrow, Alaska; United States Geological Survey (USGS); January 1, 2000.
  2. "Directory of Borough and City Officials 1974". Alaska Local Government. Juneau: Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. XIII (2): 20. January 1974.
  3. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 22, 2017.
  4. United States Postal Service (2016). "USPS - Look Up a ZIP Code". Retrieved 2016-11-03. Only “Barrow AK 99723” is accepted by the U.S. Postal Service for addresses in Utqiaġvik.
  5. "City of Utqiaġvik website". City of Utqiaġvik. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  6. "Feature Detail Report for: Utqiaġvik". GNIS. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  7. Demer, Lisa (29 October 2016). "Barrow's new name is its old one, Utqiaġvik. Local Iñupiaq leaders hope its use heals as it teaches". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  8. http://climate.gi.alaska.edu/ClimTrends/Change/TempChange.html
  9. 9.0 9.1 "NOAA Weather Data, 1981-2010".
  10. "Summary about Barrow NWS Station".
  11. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1991 to 2020.
  12. "Station Name: AK BARROW POST ROGERS AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  13. "WMO Climate Normals for BARROW/W. POST W. ROGERS, AK 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  14. "Comparative Climatic Data For the United States Through 2018" (PDF). NOAA. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  15. "Monthly weather forecast and climate - Barrow, AK". Weather Atlas. Retrieved April 7, 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]