When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)

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"When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)" is a 1959 single by Johnny Horton. The single was Johnny Horton's sixth release on the country chart and the first of three number ones on the country chart.[1] The single spent twenty-three weeks on the chart. The song was a marginally successful crossover, reaching #85 on the Music Vendor Pop Top 100.

The song takes place in Fairbanks in the springtime and the temperature outside is -40°F (-40°C). The coldest 1/4 of the year in Fairbanks ends in late February, so that's when spring starts according to temperature.[2] In real life, afternoon temperatures in early spring average around 14°F (-10°F) and morning temperatures average around -11°F (-24°C).[2] While it may uncommon to have -40°F (-40°C) weather in the springtime, it's not impossible. Temperatures as low as -41°F (-41°C) have been recorded as late as March 17.[2] However, no temperatures of -40°F (-40°C) have been recorded in the astronomical spring (past the Vernal Equinox).[2]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 162. 
  2. ^ a b c d Western Regional Climate Data Center - Fairbanks WSO Airport http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ak2968
Preceded by
"Don't Take Your Guns to Town" by Johnny Cash
Hot C&W Sides
number one single by Johnny Horton

April 6, 1959
Succeeded by
"White Lightning" by George Jones