Cold, snow, and more cold. Sounds a lot like winter across the Midwest. pic.twitter.com/fee7ZZgU7h
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) December 7, 2016
Winter has arrived, with snow and cold, boots and hoodies, and early sunsets. Yes, it gets dark at 4:20 in the afternoon these days. December 3-15 are the earliest sunsets of the year, here.
December Solstice (Winter Solstice) will occur on Wednesday, December 21, at 4:44 am in Chicago. This is the shortest day of the year, 6 hours, 6 minutes shorter than on the Summer Solstice in June.
The snow on Sunday, December 4 was the first snowfall of the season. It was forecast to be about 2-4 inches, but the totals were more than that. O'Hare Airport reported 6.4". Remeoville reported 8.1". A total of 5.5" was reported at Midway Airport.
Here are more totals from the National Weather Service.
It was wet and heavy snow, but falling on the bare branches and remaining autumn leaves the snow was a beautiful sight. With the city lights, the effect was magical.
This is indeed the season of lights. You can see some festive holiday lights at Morton Arboretum. Read more about it and see some great photos here.
Winter also brings clear nights for skywatching. The constellation Orion, the hunter of the winter sky is visible now. You can read more about Orion here.
But it's the cold that presents a challenge. Get out the winter coats and gloves. Dress in light layers. Maintain a positive attitude. Remember, we are all in this together. Look out for each other. Look out for your pets and kids. Look out for your neighbors, too.
So gear up, layer up, keep warm and be kind. Be careful out there.