First off, welcome to Winter (astronomically)! Meteorological winter is technically from December 1st-the end of February but today is the shortest day of the year, marking the winter solstice at 5:44am on Wednesday.
So our daylight hours are the shortest of the whole year today, just 9 hours and 11 minutes. While our daylight minutes will increase starting tomorrow, an earlier sunrise won’t. In fact we won’t see a sunset earlier than today’s until January 19th aka a little more than 4 weeks from now. Have you ever wondered why the shortest day of the year doesn’t correspond to the latest sunrise and earliest sunset? It’s a long explanation so if you’re curious, I found the info HERE.
Now that we have the shortest daylight, shouldn’t it also be the coldest day of the year? Survey says…NOPE! Our coldest days on average aren’t for almost another month from now. Why on earth does that happen? It’s due to something called “degree days” and makes complete sense when you think about it. We may be getting less sun time today, but for the last 7 months we’ve had a nice warm ground and warm water near us. This ground takes time to cool down, and even though we get a bit stronger sun angle in the middle of January, the ground will be at it’s coldest point making it the coldest time of the year.
So when do we get more sun? Here are the number that will make you smile:
- The next time Sunrise is before 6 am won’t be all the way until April 23rd, which by coincidence is our first day with a 60° high temp on average.
- Sunset makes it to 8 pm by May 11th.
- Our average temp moves up to 70° on May 23rd
- The earliest sunrise comes on June 12th-15th at 5:17 in the morning!
- We finally hit 80° by June 24th on average…that is a longggg wayyyy outttt.