Winter Solstice

December 21st, 2012 at 12:02 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

winter <–click to enlarge – (graphic from UCAR and the Univ. of Michigan). Today (Fri) at 6:12 AM we have the Winter Solstice. So, today is the shortest day of the year (least amount of available daylight) in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. The word “Solstice” is Latin for “sun stands still”. Today the sun is directly overhead at solar noon at a latitude of 23 degrees and 26 minutes south latitude, a line called the Tropic of Capricorn. In Grand Rapids we have nine hours of daylight today (sunrise 8:11 AM, sunset 5:11 PM). There is less daylight the farther north you go. At Sault Ste. Marie (sunrise 8:18 AM, sunset 4:35 PM – note the difference is mainly in the sunset time), they get 8 hours and 17 minutes of available sunlight. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun stays below the horizon all day long. At Barrow, Alaska the top tip of the sun won’t climb above the horizon until Jan. 22 and at the North Pole not until the Spring Equinox in March. The gain in sunlight is slow at first. In the next month we gain only 34 minutes of daylight (4 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening), with a more rapid increase in daylight around the Spring Equinox. Temperature lags the position of the sun by around one month, so the coldest temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere on average occur around January 21. Happy Winter to all!

5 Responses to “Winter Solstice”

  1. Larry from Hastings/Barry Co says:

    Happy Winter everyone…stay warm.

  2. Szokoe says:

    Hey Bill…..did you get my email about the moon tonight? Is that normal?

  3. Jack says:

    Happy Winter All…. Singing This… Cue: Winter Song (Harry Chapin Cover) – YouTube
    ► 2:58► 2:58
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2ZKoJWmkec
    Nov 12, 2008 – Uploaded by tragnilrats
    Winter Song (Harry Chapin Cover). tragnilrats·92 videos. Subscribe Subscribed Unsubscribe …

  4. Steelie says:

    Good Day,

    But how can we be certain with all of these clouds just where the sun is? Hehehe, just kidding of course…

    Steelie

  5. Judy says:

    Happy Yule!

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