Meteorological winter (what weather-folks go by) started back on December 1st and for a great majority of the country it has already been a "December to remember". Brutal cold spilled out of Canada earlier this month with wind chills in the Dakota's dropping to nearly 50 below zero for a couple of days!
Why all the cold? Each winter? Simple, as most know, the earth is slightly tilted on it's north-south axis. This slight tilt of 23.5° gives us our season's. This Saturday, the sun's direct rays will be along the tropic of Capricorn, in the southern hemisphere. These direct rays are really warming up the southern hemisphere, currently there are two intense tropical cyclones spinning just south of the equator.
Yet, in the northern hemisphere, the sun's rays are just glancing the Earth's surface. Leaving us with long shadows (weak sunshine), long nights (lots of cooling) and if there is snow cover? Very little heat remains as it radiates away from earth.
For Jacksonville, we haven't seen much cold air, but the rest of the nation sure has! Wind patterns have allowed the bulk of winter's chill to remain just north and west of us. This will again happen this weekend as temperatures are once again going to be near record breaking warm levels. Can you say the "80's"? The forecast sure does...
Hear are some interesting details about this year's winter solstice in Jacksonville.
This Saturday, December 21st, sunrise is at 7:19am, sunset is at 5:31pm, giving us only 10 hours and 11 minutes of daylight and nearly 14 hours of darkness! The winter solstice is at 12:11pm EST. The expected high is 80° which is 14° above normal. The record high is 81° which happened in 1951.