Solar Winter Finally Over
Despite the bitter temperatures, today's bright sunshine reminded me that solar winter comes to an end at midnight. This is a bright spot for those growing tired of driving to and from work in darkness and spending daylight hours in the office.
Solar winter is defined as the quarter of year with the least amount of sunlight. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the period between November 5th and February 5th (today).
During solar winter the Northern Hemisphere is at it's greatest tilt away from the sun. As a result, we get just a glancing blow of indirect sunshine. Well, we're turning a corner you might say. We're finally entering that time of year where the sun is higher in the sky providing more direct rays which are more effective at heating the earth's surface.
In fact, we are gaining more than 2 minutes of daylight everyday and by the end of the month it's up to nearly 3 minutes. By February 28th, we'll have 11 hours and 9 minutes of daylight, or about an hour and 10 minutes more than today.
And, in just four short weeks from Sunday, we spring into daylight saving time pushing our sunset to almost 7:00 PM!! Snow lovers, soak in winter now cause spring is just around the corner... oh wait, check that, we live in Wisconsin :)
Meteorologist Lance Hill