Winter officially kicks off this Thursday at 11:28 EST. and of course at the same time in the southern hemisphere summer will also be initiated. For us here in the northern hemisphere the sun will be on its most southerly track in the sky giving us the shortest day of the year.
From the winter solstice Thursday, until the summer solstice on June 21, 2018 the nights will progressively grow shorter while the daylight hours will increase.
One might think that the shorter duration of sunlight on the winter solstice should bring about the coldest temperatures as well but the coldest and warmest temperatures typically occur weeks after the winter and summer solstices, respectively.
Others may think that during the winter months the earth is farther away from the sun giving us less warmth when actually we are closest to the sun this time of year.
Of course we know that the reason for the seasons is the earth’s orbit around the sun and that the Earth is tilted on its axis by 23.5 degrees.
On the winter solstice the earth’s axis is angled away from the sun with the northern hemisphere receiving a the shortest duration of sunlight while the southern hemisphere enjoys the longest duration of sunlight of the year.