Winter solstice arrives ahead of "bomb cyclone" blizzard
This year's winter solstice will take place Wednesday, marking the official change of seasons as much of the country braces itself for an epic winter storm set to start the next day.
Why it matters: Despite the frigid forecast, the solstice will bring some relief from November’s daylight saving time change as daylight hours will start to gradually grow again, according to the Farmers' Almanac.
Exact time of winter solstice 2022
The big picture: The winter solstice takes place at 4:48pm ET Wednesday, per the U.S. Naval Observatory.
- It occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn located at 23.5 degrees south of the equator, according to Weather.gov.
- Winter solstice happens on Dec. 21 or 22 each year and the exact time it starts changes annually.
First day of winter
The solstice is considered the start of the astronomical winter.
- The meteorological winter season started Dec. 1 for the Northern Hemisphere, which is also when summer began in the Southern Hemisphere, per NASA.
Shortest day of the year 2022
Details: Dec. 21 is both the shortest day of 2022 and the longest night of the year.
- During the day, the Northern Hemisphere will only have eight hours and 46 minutes of daylight, per Space.com.
- The summer solstice, which is June 21, is the longest day of the year.
Winter storm warning
Driving the news: Blizzard conditions are forecast between early Thursday and Friday night from Kansas City, Missouri, to the Michigan border with Canada, Axios’ Andrew Freedman reports.
- Chicago, northern Indiana, and western Michigan may take the brunt.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service is calling the cold “life-threatening” for the areas that will be hardest hit, especially the Great Plains and Midwest, Freedman reports.
Be smart: The storm is expected to interfere with both passenger travel and cargo transport across a vast stretch of the U.S.
- A number of major airlines are waiving the usual fees and fare differences for travelers looking to rebook their trips this holiday season ahead of dangerous winter weather, Axios' Herb Scribner reports.
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