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Old 01-18-2005, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

NOAA Forecast for tonight - Fort Yukon, AK

I don't understand how forced air heating could keep a house warm enough to survive, or how a car's engine could turn over in temperatures that cold. I guess a block heater would help, but still!

Has anyone lived in Alaska during the winter?
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:13 PM   #2
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

I know of one who's apparently going back. Good. I hope she dies while lost, alone, cold, starving, being eaten by a bear.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:14 PM   #3
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Nik
I know of one who's apparently going back. Good. I hope she dies while lost, alone, cold, starving, being eaten by a bear.
Angry much?
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:14 PM   #4
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Nik
I know of one who's apparently going back. Good. I hope she dies while lost, alone, cold, starving, being eaten by a bear.

A little bitter are we?
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:15 PM   #5
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

More than one poster here is from Alaska.

ShotgunSteve comes to mind.

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Old 01-18-2005, 10:16 PM   #6
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Sundog
Quote:
Originally posted by: Nik
I know of one who's apparently going back. Good. I hope she dies while lost, alone, cold, starving, being eaten by a bear.

A little bitter are we?
Bitter than I don't get to do the deed with my bare hands, yeah.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:16 PM   #7
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

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Originally posted by: Squisher
More than one poster here is from Alaska.

ShotgunSteve comes to mind.
Maetryx, too.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:17 PM   #8
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

I live on an AFB outside of Fairbanks Alaska, it's ~-33F right now. Life is spent dashing from one warm building or vehicle to another. It's not that bad really, you will learn ways to compensate for cold very quickly. Home heating is interesting, on this base they use a network of steam pipes that circulates in baseboard heaters of all the residences and buildings. Very efficient.

I'll check back on this post in a bit to add some more.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:18 PM   #9
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

I'd like to be the weather guy up there. "Going to be damn cold today." Just leave that up for six months and go on vacation.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:21 PM   #10
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

In traditional native alaskan iglooo.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:22 PM   #11
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

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Old 01-18-2005, 10:24 PM   #12
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

The real question is...how do they live without sun for 3+ months?
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:26 PM   #13
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: jjzelinski
I live on an AFB outside of Fairbanks Alaska, it's ~-33F right now. Life is spent dashing from one warm building or vehicle to another. It's not that bad really, you will learn ways to compensate for cold very quickly. Home heating is interesting, on this base they use a network of steam pipes that circulates in baseboard heaters of all the residences and buildings. Very efficient.

I'll check back on this post in a bit to add some more.
Interesting. Yes, steam heating is very efficient, my college uses a network of steam pipes to heat its buildings. All the pipes use steam captured from the central power plant's turbines, which use steam to turn then, which creates electricity for campus. It's approximately 75% efficient, IIRC from my tour...which is very, very good.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:26 PM   #14
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

I've lived in Montana my entire life and had a few winters like that. Shirt + sweater + coat + hat + gloves + hood = decently warm. Let your car warm up for at least 15 minutes. Definately have a block heater if you park outside. Its really not that hard.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:27 PM   #15
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Kalvin00
The real question is...how do they live without sun for 3+ months?
That's what I was wondering - The cold I could deal with, but not the lack of sunlight. I get SAD badly enough down here in the lower 48; I'd hate to have to put up with that.

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Old 01-18-2005, 10:30 PM   #16
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

It was 80 here today.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:44 PM   #17
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: jjzelinski
I live on an AFB outside of Fairbanks Alaska, it's ~-33F right now. Life is spent dashing from one warm building or vehicle to another. It's not that bad really, you will learn ways to compensate for cold very quickly. Home heating is interesting, on this base they use a network of steam pipes that circulates in baseboard heaters of all the residences and buildings. Very efficient.

I'll check back on this post in a bit to add some more.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:49 PM   #18
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Kalvin00
The real question is...how do they live without sun for 3+ months?
I believe there is only a couple of weeks of total darkness, but you wouldn't get much sunlight as you were ramping up and down from those two weeks.

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Old 01-18-2005, 10:50 PM   #19
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Squisher
Quote:
Originally posted by: Kalvin00
The real question is...how do they live without sun for 3+ months?
I believe there is only a couple of weeks of total darkness, but you wouldn't get much sunlight as you were ramping up and down from those two weeks.
Some parts of northern Alaska see sunlight for all of 5 months out of the year, then get 7 months of dark twilight and pitch black.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:53 PM   #20
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

3 months of complete darkness. Now I remember why I want to move to Alaska. But then I would have to move back to Cali when 3 months of day light comes around.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:54 PM   #21
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Someone has to defend us from the ever encroaching communists!

Thanks everyone up there.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:54 PM   #22
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: jumpr
Quote:
Originally posted by: jjzelinski
I live on an AFB outside of Fairbanks Alaska, its ~-33F right now. Life is spent dashing from one warm building or vehicle to another. It's not that bad really; you will learn ways to compensate for cold very quickly. Home heating is interesting; on this base they use a network of steam pipes that circulates in baseboard heaters of all the residences and buildings. Very efficient.

I'll check back on this post in a bit to add some more.
Interesting. Yes, steam heating is very efficient; my college uses a network of steam pipes to heat its buildings. All the pipes use steam captured from the central power plant's turbines, which use steam to turn then, which creates electricity for campus. It's approximately 75% efficient, IIRC from my tour...which is very, very good.

That's exactly what they've arranged here. We get really interesting phenomena up here due to the extreme cold, such as:

Ice Fog - For about 30ft above ground over the entire area there is a dense layer of fog; Ice Fog. It should really be called Ice *S*mog because this area gets incredibly polluted during the winter due to the three or four power plants in the area, cars constantly running, gas heated homes, etc... What exacerbates it so much is that the air is so cold and dense it traps EVERYTHING in that 30 ft blanket. In the Air Traffic Control Tower I occasionally work in it can be perfectly clear up there, whereas on the ground it is a foggy mess. It's beautiful at night, though. Light is reflected upwards from all bright lights sources hundreds of feet in to the sky making pillars of light all over the base. This is due to the ice crystals the fog is composed of.

New Rods every winter - This is figurative and literal; figurative in the sense that the roads are totally iced over by about 5 to 6 inches. Travel is very slow, but any car can manage up here. Stopping and starting takes forever, wrecks are common place.

Extreme cold does not go well with nose hairs - Every breath you take freezes your snot on contact, very odd to experience. Feels like Elmer?s glue that softens and hardens repeatedly.

Daylight - Very little during the winter. Here's a funny story; bought a new watch, liked the way it looked, only $40 to replace the POS I've been wearing since basic that died. Turns out its solar powered, the irony did not escape me Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real PITA up here, everyone gets it (at least most it seems like.) People suffer from this form of depression because the area plainly sucks @$$, in addition to the lack of sunlight. Sunlight is necessary for the production of serotonin, which becomes melatonin, which is necessary to sleep. The imbalance can go either way, but most feel sluggish and depressed. Some become anxious.

Aurora Borealis - Must be seen to be believed. You've seen pictures but to see it in motion is something else entirely. It's not slow at all; it's quick like dancing green/purple/white/orange fire. And there's no guarantee it will last more than a few minutes.

I'll add more as I ponder all the other unique characteristics.


**Edited for grammer and spelling
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:06 PM   #23
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Did I mention that it was 80 degrees here today?
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:07 PM   #24
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Oh it's more expensive to live here than Tokyo Japan, I'm told. The AAFES Burger King (AAFES is a DOD related commerical business) a large chicken sandwhich value meal costs $8.50. Typical for the area. Everything shipped here must be 2nd day aired. Latency is a minimum of 90ms ---anywhere---.

And sitll more to come
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:07 PM   #25
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Default How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Quote:
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Did I mention that it was 80 degrees here today?

:evil:
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