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Winter Solstice

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In the meteorology and climatology worlds, it has been winter since the start of the month. Today, however, is the widely accepted first day of winter. The Winter Solstice will occur at 11:28 AM.

The astronomical seasons are based on the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun. The four seasons are based on the Earth's tilt and the Sun's alignment over the Equator. On the Winter Solstice the Sun's most direct rays are over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. That makes today is the first day of summer on the other side of the Equator. During the winter the Northern Hemisphere is pointed away from the Sun's direct rays.

(Credit: NOAA)

The Winter Solstice is also the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Lexington we will see nine hours and 31 minutes of daylight. Meanwhile for areas in the Arctic Circle, there will be no daylight until early March. The good news is starting tomorrow the days will be getting longer.

(Credit: Brian Brettschneider)

- Meteorologist Jill Szwed

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