Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice 2013

Winter arrived at 12:11 p.m. this afternoon.  At that exact moment in time, the North Pole was tipped exactly 23 degrees away from the sun.
I look forward to this day every December because it is the shortest day of the year - after this, the days will now start to get longer until the summer equinox next June 21st.

I was reading up on the solstice today and learned a few new things, such as:  we got exactly 9 hours and 32 minutes of daylight today.  Although it was a very grey and rainy daylight most of the day for us here in Toronto, no sign of the sun at all and dire predictions of a major ice storm to come overnight. Not exactly the cheeriest way to usher in the official start of winter.'s what I learned on the Internet today:  "Meteorologists consider Dec. 1 the start of the meteorological winter and March 1 the start of the meteorological spring. That's because December, January and February are the three coldest months of the year. By the time the Spring Equinox rolls around on March 20, 2014, average temperatures in most areas will have already started rising. The winter solstice isn't the coldest day of the year, either — that comes later." (click here for the full article).

Surprisingly, this isn't the day upon which we have the latest sunrise and earliest sunset.  That same article advises:  "Most U.S. locations see their earliest sunset a week or so before the solstice and see their latest sunrise sometime in January. For instance, in New York City, sunset came at 4:28 p.m. on Dec. 7, and then started occurring later. On Dec. 29, sunrise will come at 7:20 a.m. — the latest of the year. It won't start getting lighter earlier until Jan. 11."

All I know is, even though we've got a whole lot of winter to get through first, we're on our way and headed to spring!!

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