Barrow Alaska had its first-ever thunderstorm on June 20, 2000. What was the temperature that day in Barrow? Have thunderstorms occurred since then?
—Scott Wilhelm, Chicago
Barrow, Alaska, known as Utqiagvik since 2016, is North America’s northernmost-inhabited area. It recorded its first thunderstorm on June 20, 2000, a day that logged a high of 54 degrees and a low of 30 along with 0.20 inches of rain. Distant thunderstorms had been previously sighted but never in the town itself. Another thunderstorm was logged on July 3, 2004, when the mercury soared to 65 degrees. Earlier this year, hundreds of lightning strokes were recorded over the Beaufort Sea, east of Pt. Barrow. Later, the same weather system produced more than 1,000 lightning strokes at 75 degrees north latitude over the frozen ocean.