When Will the Days Begin to Get Longer?

You ask, Patch answers. When can we expect longer days?

Winter can be tough on the emotions. The cold weather can be difficult to deal with, snow can be a pain (though also fun) but what really seems to get people down is the short days.

There is something about the sun going down before most people get out of work that is depressing.

So when can we expect longer days?

The days will begin to get longer after the Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year.  According to timeanddate.com the December solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees is normally on Dec. 21, but the actual shortest day can be between Dec. 20 and 23 depending on the year.

According to sunrisesunset.com, the shortest day of the year in this area will be on Dec. 22. On that day the sun will rise at 7:12 a.m. and set at 4:15 p.m. After that date, the days will begin to get longer. Dec. 23, for example, will see the sun setting at 4:16 p.m.

The sun will set at 4:21 on New Year's Eve.

Of course the real change in the time of the sunset will come with the start of Daylight Saving 2013 when we "spring ahead" and move the clocks up an hour. That will take place on March 10. On March 9, the sun will set at 5:43 p.m. and on March 10 we will have sunlight until 6:45 p.m.

So just about another month before the days start to get longer.

John Intorcio December 04, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Don’t confuse sunset times with day length. The earliest sunset of the years comes about two weeks BEFORE the solstice. On December 8 in North Reading (42° 34’ 30”, -72° 4’ 45”), the sun sets at 4:11 PM. But since the sun rises on that day at 7:02 AM, the day length is 9:09. By the 22nd, the sunset has moved back to 4:15 PM but the sunrise has also advanced to 7:12 AM for a day length of only 9:03. Similarly, the latest sunrise for the year comes about two weeks AFTER the solstice; 7:14 AM on January 5. (You can precisely calculate time for sunrise and sunsets in North Reading here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/)


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