updated 5/10/2005 8:36:15 AM ET 2005-05-10T12:36:15

When the sun rises Tuesday in the continent's northernmost community, it will stay up for nearly three months.  The last sunset of the season occurs at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday. The sun rises again at 2:56 a.m.

"Then it will stay above the horizon until Aug. 2, when the first sunset will take place at 3:09 a.m.," said Gina Sturm of the National Weather Service office in Barrow.

The prospects for seeing a spectacular sunrise are slim because of the potential for cloudy skies and patchy fog, said Dave Stricklan, also with the National Weather Service.  "I'd say it is about 80 percent `no' on seeing the sun that time of the morning," he said.

Still, many in this town of about 4,500 welcome the transition to the midnight sun.

"It is so energizing after being in the dark during winter," said lifetime resident Diane Martin. "It's almost like coming out of hibernation.  It brings us back to getting out and about, and participating in our subsistence activities."

Rob Carillo, who has lived in Barrow for two years, said he feels the surge of energy too.  "It's great," he said.  "It gives me a lot more energy than when the sun stays down.  During winter I sleep more, and eat more. ... Now I'm staying a lot more active."

Ron Boynton, who's been in Barrow 23 years, said in some ways he likes the dark period more than the unrelenting daylight.  "You have to get some little tricks to get enough sleep," he said.  "Put foil on your bedroom windows, etcetera, but then if you have to get up during the night to go to the bathroom or something, then you get the full sunlight coming in, and it can be hard to get back to sleep.  So we all learn to adapt during the years, and each develop our own little tricks."

Barrow is about 330 miles above the Arctic Circle.  In winter, the sun sets in mid-November and the region is dark until late January.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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