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Winter solstice is here, with the coldest days yet to come

At 4:23 (CST) Friday afternoon, winter officially began for the Northern Hemisphere, as the sun reach its highest point in the sky above the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 ° S)

For those who dislike the season, it brings good news as the days start getting longer and the suns angel starts getting higher in the sky. Through the rest of December and into January, Mid-Missouri can expect to gain anywhere from :30 to 2 minutes of daylight on average.

Although the days will begin to get longer, it also means that some of the coldest days of the season are yet to come. Seasons occur thanks to the Earth’s tilt (23.5 °) as it journeys around the sun, yet our coolest/warmest days of the year usually come several weeks after.

The seasonal temperature lag is designed as a period when outgoing energy from the Earth’s surface exceeds the incoming energy. Even though the days will start growing longer in the weeks to come, it takes a while for the outgoing/incoming energy to flip.

A big reason this occurs is due to our oceans.

Water plays a major role in temperature distribution across the globe and because it takes water longer to cool off than land, the Northern Hemisphere will continue to see colder days.

For us here in Mid-Missouri the coldest time usually falls during the month of January which is just under 2 weeks away.

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