July 20, 2012 Snow Day!
Today it was so cold, it actually snowed while we were in the field collecting data!!! I was innocently walking towards the soil chambers when I felt hundreds of tiny cold spiky things striking me. "What is that?" I thought, "Sand?" Nope, it was snow!
Barrow is 330 miles above the Arctic Circle and only 1,300 miles away from the North Pole. It has the lowest average temperatures in all of Alaska. In fact, Barrow receives snow fall every month of the year, but oddly enough is considered a desert climate because it only averages less than 5 inches of rain a year.
Barrow is one of the cloudiest places on earth too! Half the year, the skies are completely overcast and dense fog is common during the summer months.
So just like that old saying goes "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds" the same applies to scientists collecting their data! Despite the whipping winds, freezing temperatures, and now snow, we're still out there sampling gas from each of the chambers and taking probe measurements of pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity. Well, it does help to have a fluffy hat and snowboarding goggles.