Winter has Arrived!

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.



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  • On " it's the cold that presents a challenge," I sure hope the map does not indicate that the polar vortex is back.
    On the "wet and heavy snow," it busted several tree limbs, but since they were lower limbs that didn't have any leaves for the past couple of years, I figure they were dead. Anyway "a work order for the landscaper."
    On the saga of the 3 buses, the flaming red one lost its leaves, but the greenish red one still has some, and the green one still has its leaves, but there are brown spots on them.
    At least most of the snow has melted, but there seems to be disagreement over either we will be socked on Sunday. Seems like the old "this model says 3, that one says 8, so probably 4-6."

  • In reply to jack:

    3 "bushes..."
    over "whether..."

  • In reply to jack:

    Greetings, Jack--It does seem the polar vortex will be making a comeback. But this is not a persistent pattern, I hope.

    snow was wet and heavy here, too--I think it was wetter further south. No busted tree limbs, here, fortunately.

    Yes, the bushes are worth watching. Leaves are strange this year. There are some bushes and trees here that are yellow, now, but still have most of their leaves.

    As for the brown spots, I noticed big spots on some maple leaves, too. It could be a fungus...but I'm not sure...

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Unless the building is really giving off heat, the green leaves should have frozen by now.

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