Author: Mary Knapp

This year, December 21st marks what many in the northern hemisphere consider to be the start of winter: the winter solstice. The word “solstice” comes from Latin and means “sun standing still.” The event got this name because for several days before and after the solstice, the sun’s noontime position appears to be the same. As we moved from summer solstice, in late June, to the winter solstice, in December, the sun appears lower in the sky each day. Now the pattern will reverse, with the sun climbing a little higher each day. In addition, the days will gradually get longer. Even so, cold winter weather has just begun. In Kansas, the coldest weather usually occurs in late January and early February.

Winter Solstice (NOAA/NASA)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library