West Michigan's Darkest Day is here because today is the Winter Solstice!

West Michigan's Darkest Day

Today is the shortest day of the year and the first official day of winter! Sunrise was at 8:11 am and Sunset will be at 5:11 pm. Which means we'll have over 13 hours of night and darkness throughout West Michigan.

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The Science behind the Winter Solstice

During the Winter Solstice, the sun travels the shortest path through the sky resulting in the day of the year with the least sunlight and therefore, the longest night. Because Earth is tilted on its rotational axis, we have the changing seasons. As the planet moves around the sun, each hemisphere experiences winter when it's tilted away from the sun and summer when it's tilted toward the sun. For the Northern Hemisphere, that day is today.

How Does the Solstice affect the Weather in West Michigan?

Every year people look forward to the winter solstice, which usually falls on December 21st. Because they know after that, there will be progressively more daylight going forward. From the winter solstice until the summer solstice (the longest day of the year, usually June 21), the days in Michigan get longer. Unfortunately, the winter solstice is also the beginning of winter and the coldest days in Michigan are normally in January and February. The more sun we get the more warm air and weather will come back to our neck of the woods.

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