First Day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere


Damsel and I were in the office this afternoon when I remarked that I think the winter solstice is today. As I looked up the time of the solstice on the internet I could see that winter had just begun only a little over an hour ago. As of December 20, 2018, 3:23 PM Arizona time, we are officially in the winter season.

We just took the dogs out for their last walk before it gets dark here. The temperature on the patio was still up at 68° F, although it will be falling rapidly after dark. We’re expecting a low of 46° F overnight.

The Northern Hemisphere might be getting a cooler winter this year according to arch-weather guru Joe Bastardi of WeatherBELL Analytics. I read a recent article with an analysis of El Niño and La Niña and some sort of Pacific Decadal Oscillation that we might be in for some really cooler weather in 2019.

So, Damsel and I will be shopping for some warmer winter clothing in the post-Christmas sales. The good news is that the forecast isn’t so severe as to warrant snow tires or parkas or arctic gear. It’s Arizona, after all. The forecast for this weekend will be highs in the 70’s and lows in the mid 40’s, so the deep freeze isn’t here yet!

Screenshot above from the Archaeoastronomy website. Click for a (slightly) larger image.


  1. drjim said,

    December 20, 2018 @ 19:30:53

    And now the days start getting longer!

    December is our coldest month, so now the temps will start going up. And we’ve hardly had any snow this year….BAD for the farmers!

  2. CapnBob said,

    December 20, 2018 @ 20:14:33

    I can deal with the days getting longer. Our local sidereal day here today was 9 hours 53 minutes. Looking forward to 14 hour days again this late spring.

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