Monday starts off prelude to spring
Monday is the day things start getting a little brighter.
After Sunday — the shortest day of the year, known as the winter solstice — the sun will gradually start shining more in the Northern Hemisphere.
Every other day will bring about a minute more of sunlight, increasing up to about five additional minutes per day by spring, said 1st Lt. Paul Domm, with the 21st Operational Weather Squadron at Sembach Air Base, Germany.
The rate increases each day and peaks during the spring equinox in March, he said.
"That’s why spring seems so great, like the days are getting brighter faster. That’s because they are," Domm said.
It works in reverse after the summer solstice in June, the longest day of the year. That’s when the days start getting shorter, the rate peaking around the autumn equinox in September, he said.
The astronomical events are linked to the tilt of the earth as it circles the sun, he said.
The effects of these shifts in daylight vary depending on the latitude of the country. Those further north get darker faster in the winter but stay lighter longer in the summer, Domm said.
However, just because the sun is making a comeback doesn’t mean the weather is going to start warming up anytime soon.
The Northern Hemisphere doesn’t reach its coldest until about mid-January, Domm said.
"There’s a certain lag between the amount of sunlight and the temperatures," he said.