How do people live in Alaska during the winter?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by , Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Guest

    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?
     
  2. NikPreviousAcct

    NikPreviousAcct No Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    Messages:
    52,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know of one who's apparently going back. Good. I hope she dies while lost, alone, cold, starving, being eaten by a bear.
     
  3. Wanescotting

    Wanescotting Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Angry much?
     
  4. Sundog

    Sundog Lifer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2000
    Messages:
    12,342
    Likes Received:
    0

    A little bitter are we?
     
  5. Squisher

    Squisher Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    21,004
    Likes Received:
    0
    More than one poster here is from Alaska.

    ShotgunSteve comes to mind.

     
  6. NikPreviousAcct

    NikPreviousAcct No Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    Messages:
    52,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bitter than I don't get to do the deed with my bare hands, yeah. :|
     
  7. NikPreviousAcct

    NikPreviousAcct No Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    Messages:
    52,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maetryx, too.
     
  8. jjzelinski

    jjzelinski Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,750
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  9. rudeguy

    rudeguy Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    47,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  10. Baked

    Baked Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    36,137
    Likes Received:
    0
    In traditional native alaskan iglooo.
     
  11. iamwiz82

    iamwiz82 Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    30,763
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Kalvin00

    Kalvin00 Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    12,698
    Likes Received:
    0
    The real question is...how do they live without sun for 3+ months? :D
     
  13. Guest

    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.
     
  14. BigPoppa

    BigPoppa Golden Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,931
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  15. NTB

    NTB Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.

    Nate
     
  16. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    71,880
    Likes Received:
    80
    It was 80 here today. :D
     
  17. jadinolf

    jadinolf Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 1999
    Messages:
    20,952
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info. :)
     
  18. Squisher

    Squisher Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    21,004
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.

     
  19. NikPreviousAcct

    NikPreviousAcct No Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    Messages:
    52,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  20. Baked

    Baked Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    36,137
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  21. novasatori

    novasatori Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Messages:
    3,851
    Likes Received:
    0
    Someone has to defend us from the ever encroaching communists! :D

    Thanks everyone up there.
     
  22. jjzelinski

    jjzelinski Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,750
    Likes Received:
    0

    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 :D 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
     
  23. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    71,880
    Likes Received:
    80
    Did I mention that it was 80 degrees here today? :D
     
  24. jjzelinski

    jjzelinski Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,750
    Likes Received:
    0
    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 :)
     
  25. jjzelinski

    jjzelinski Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,750
    Likes Received:
    0

    :thumbsdown::evil::p