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The last sunrises of 2020, and first -40C reading of the season

Thursday, November 19th 2020, 7:45 pm - Many Arctic communities in Canada and Alaska are bidding adieu to the last rays of the sun for 2020.

It's getting darker and colder as the winter draws near, and nowhere is that ever more apparent than in the Arctic, which marked a couple of milestones this week – beginning with the last glimpses of the sun.

Small communities north of the Arctic Circle are beginning their annual sun-less period, and on Wednesday, the northern Alaskan community of Utqiaġvik (Barrow), located near the northernmost point of the United States, witnessed its final sunset of 2020.

Alaska final sunset

The sun won't return above the horizon at that location until January 23rd, 2021, almost two months from now.

Parts of northern Canada have already adjusted to a sunless horizon, including Eureka, Grise Fiord, both on Ellesmere Island, and Pond Inlet on Baffin Island.

People in Eureka will be in the dark for longer, and aren't going to see another sunrise until February 20th, 2021.

Northern Canada sunset times

And on top of the encroaching darkness, Thursday was marked by Canada's first -40°C reading of the season.

That dubious honour went to the village of Mayo, Yukon, which just briefly fell below that threshold during the early hours of November 19th, making it the first location in Canada to take the brave plunge this fall season.

Yukon below temperature

If you think that's cold, it's not out of the ordinary for that station, which often features some of the most extreme temperature readings on the planet.

On February 3rd, 1947, the Mayo Airport recorded one of Canada's chilliest temperatures on record at -62.2°C.

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