Before clocks, watches and cell phones became available to keep track of time, noon was when when the sun was highest in the sky. Not today, and especially not in Alaska. in 1983, Alaska’s four time zones became one time zone – Alaska Standard Time which is EST minus four hours.
Since Alaska encompasses an area that reaches from coast to coast when projected onto the Lower 48s or in other words 57.5 degrees of longitude, many places have their local noon not when the digital world claims it to be noon. Solar noon at about 11:45 pm 12:35 pm, 1:45 pm in Juneau, Fairbanks and Nome, respectively. In November. In Fairbanks, the earliest and latest sunrise are at 2:59 am on June 14 and 11:00 am on December 27. The earliest and latest sunset are at 2:39 pm on December 14 and at 12:47 am on June 26, In spring, daylight savings time means being another hour more out of sync with the sun. In a nutshell, in Nome, Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska time is about three, two and two hours off of solar noon.
These Alaska facts have consequences for how to dress. In the morning, it is still very chilly with temperatures in the upper 40s and lower 50s (7-12C) due to the nighttime cooling even in summer. At noon, summer temperatures may be in the 80s (>27C) and even reach the 90s once in a while. Thus, dressing for a day in Alaska requires layering as you have to dress for a temperature range of often more than 30, sometimes even 40 degrees F (20C).
At this time a year, you also need mosquito protection. For the latter a leather jacket like shown below is a great idea. Fortunately the mosquitoes come out about 7 pm and are gone by the next morning 7 am or so, i.e. the time when it is cooler than at solar noon. The chambray shirt of my outfit can go from “it is still a little chilly, but already too warm with the leather jacket” to “it is too warm for me today” when rolling up the sleeves. Sunglasses are a must as the sun nearly circles Fairbanks horizon meaning it is low in the sky from early at night to mid morning and late afternoon to early morning the next day.
When layering it is important to keep in mind that the outfit still has to work and look stylish when a layer comes off (the upper photos) or is added (photo below). You can find other examples of layering here, and here.
How do you have to adapt your outfit to your local conditions?
Tomorrow is #5 of Keep One 4 the Next OOTD. Make your guess which piece I will wear again.
Photos: G. Kramm (2014)