By Niki Morock, Meteorologist
On Wednesday morning at 5:44 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, residents in the northern hemisphere will experience Winter Solstice. Despite popular thought, the solstice is not the entire day. It's actually that one instant with the sun passes directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. In that same moment, the southern hemisphere has its Summer Solstice. For global clarity, a better term is "the December Solstice."
Many think that Winter Solstice is the day with the least amount of daylight, and that's not necessarily true either. Depending on your perspective, the truth may actually be good news. Today is the shortest day of the year, or the longest night if you prefer.
The sun rises at 7:21 a.m. both today and tomorrow, but today's sunset is at 5:04 p.m., while tomorrow's is at 5:05 p.m. That's right - the days start getting longer tomorrow!
You might think that with more sunlight, the days should start getting warmer, too. That assumption isn't quite right either, although the forecast tomorrow just happens to be for warmer and sunnier weather. The coldest day of the year in our area is January 19 with an average low of 30 degrees Farenheit and an average high of 49 degrees.
Depending on how you look at seasons, Wednesday could be considered the start of winter. It is astronomically anyway. However, meteorologists and climatologists consider December 1, the first day of winter, which would make that coldest day - January 19 - pretty close to Midwinter's Day.
Sometimes celebrations of seasons are all about perspective. As for this southern girl, I will celebrate in late spring when the weather turns consistently warmer again.