Happy Winter Solstice! - WNEM TV 5

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Happy Winter Solstice!

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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

Despite already receiving our first winter storm of the year late last week, and meteorologists starting winter on December 1st, winter hadn't arrived quite yet. But today, at 11:28 AM to be more specific, the season officially starts with the winter solstice. 

If you weren't already familiar with the winter solstice, it's the day of the year where we have the least amount of daylight and longest stretch of night. This occurs when the sun is directly overhead of the Tropic of Capricorn. 

According to the US Naval Observatory, using Saginaw as our reference point, our sunrise for today is around 8:05 AM and our sunset time is 5:03 PM. This amounts to 8 hours and 57 minutes of daylight for December 21st. 

While the daylight will be at a minimum today, this is the bottom of the hill. After today, we slowly begin our climb back up the hill with days getting a touch longer every single day until we see nearly the same amount of day and night on March 20th, 2018 for the spring equinox. 

Just to give you a few checkpoints along the way, we're under 9 hours of daylight for today, and we'll gain very little (only about a minute or so per day) until January 8th, with 9 hours and 9 minutes of daylight. 

But toward February, we pick up the pace a bit, and by February 3rd, we eclipse 10 hours of daylight. In the 45 days from February 3rd to the spring equinox on March 20th, we gain around 2 hours and 8 minutes, averaging out to nearly 3 minutes per day!

After the spring equinox, we'll continue the upward trend right into the summer solstice on June 21st (the longest period of daylight for the year), with a total of 15 hours and 25 minutes of daylight. Once the summer solstice passes, we do it all over again. 

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