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Winter solstice marks the day we start gaining daylight again

Not only does the winter solstice pinpoint the official start to winter, it is also the day the U.S. and northern hemisphere starts gaining daylight again.

ARKANSAS, USA — Winter is here! The winter solstice takes place Tuesday Dec 21, 2021 (9:58 AM CST) and marks the official start of the cold season. This is the day the north pole is pointed as far away from the sun (23.5 degrees), making it colder in the northern hemisphere. However the one of the most exciting things about the solstice is that it marks the day the U.S. begins gaining daylight again.

The gains will be very small at first. In fact much of the central United States will gain less than a minute all the way through Christmas Day. By January, many states will begin to see gains of over a minute per day, helping sunsets to occur later and sunrises to happen earlier.


--Winter begins at 9:58 AM CST (3:58 UTC)

Credit: KFSM

Meteorological winter started December 1st. Much of the U.S. is colder in December than March so meteorological winter differs from official winter which is based on the earth's tilt from the sun.


While the northern hemisphere will start gaining daylight, the atmosphere is still losing more heat per day than it gains. We'll have to wait until spring when we start gaining more heat per day than we lose. Temperature swings on a day-to-day basis is dependent on individual storm systems moving cold air and warm air into different places across the globe.


In the south, the first days of official winter looks very warm with 60s/70s/80s all the way into Christmas. A series of system will hit the Pacific coast and then stay north. That will keep snow chances in the Rockies, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada. There will also be some snow chances in the far northern plains, northern Great Lakes, and New England. Areas south of I-80 will likely get a dry or green Christmas this year.

Credit: KFSM

-5NEWS Weather

Official KFSM Winter Outlook

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