Earliest Sunset

December 9th, 2012 at 3:35 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   The earliest sunsets of the year occur this weekend at 5:08 PM here in G.R.   We actually sit at 5:08 PM from Dec. 4 through Dec. 13.  The sunrise (currently at 8:03 AM today, 12/10) will continue to get later until reaching our latest sunrise at 8:14 AM from Dec. 29th thru Jan. 7th.  The combined shortest day is the Winter Solstice, which is coming up on Dec. 221 at 6:12 AM.   That day we have only 9 hours of possible daylight (sunrise 8:11 am and sunset at 5:11 am).  Temperatures lag the position of the sun by around one month, so our coldest day on average is around January 20th.  The average high temperature drops another 8 degrees from Dec. 10 to Jan. 20 and the average low temperature drops 10 degrees.  So, on average, these mixed precipitation events would be all snow if they came later in the winter.   Remember, it’s dark when many of the kids head off to school here in December and January, so keep that in mind on your morning commute.   (another fine picture here from Jack Martin).

5 Responses to “Earliest Sunset”

  1. Dan says:

    Yep! Almost Officially WINTER here!

  2. GunLakeDeb says:

    I DO hate the drive home from work at 6 PM in the pitch dark – will be glad to have the days start to lengthen. Maybe it’s how the tradition of Christmas Lights got started?? Trying to convince ourselves that there’s still “brightness” after 5 PM??

    1. DanielG says:

      I beleieve this is how it goes Deb…the Christmas holiday trees and decorataions has its origins in the pagan ritual of the Winter Solstice. The Nordic practice of burning a large pile of evergreens goes back to very early recorded history. Come winter solstice they would make a massive bonfire to scare away the gods of darkness and lo and behold…the sun would start its annual trek back northward again. Reinforced their belief that burning trees on or near Dec 22..they didn’t have calenders, just the sun and moon… would bring forth spring. The Holy Father then deemed that Christmas would replace the pagan fire ritual. Scholars now believe the actual birth of Christ was no where near Dec 25th anyway. But the ‘church’ thought it would do best to get rid of pagan rites so they thought it would be a good thing.
      Thats it in a nutshell, very over simplified. The Discovery Channel or the History Channel covers it most every year with a much better description then I could ever hope to do here…

  3. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    December 221 I never knew December had so many days. Bill must have been thinking back to when he was a kid and how long it took to get to Christmas!!

  4. Jack says:

    I Think of This Song Every Time I Witness A SUNSET. YOU LOVE IT BILL !! Lyrics of There Goes Sundown

    Doomsday… Some day
    But not today so far
    Said this world wouldn’t
    Be here much longer
    But look around, here we are.
    Only God in his wisdom
    Surely not me in mine
    Knows the number of the days of a man
    Every day he shows me a sign.

    (Chorus:) There Goes Sundown
    There Goes Sundown
    There Goes Sundown again.

    Some days I pray this prayer more than others
    For My Lord to come
    When I’m weary of fightin’
    When I’m tired of runnin’.
    Other days I wanna stay around
    Grow old with that girl of mine
    Most of the Future is out of my hands
    He reminds me every day ’bout this time.

    (Chorus: 2x) There Goes Sundown
    There Goes Sundown
    There Goes Sundown again.

    (Bridge:) I Don’t Believe
    We’ve been forgotten
    God’s too faithful
    He’s too good of keeping
    All his promises
    He’s gonna come for me
    Just like he said he would.

    (Chorus: 2x) There Goes Sundown
    There Goes Sundown
    There Goes Sundown again.

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