Oct 20, 2022 - News

Say goodbye to the sun

Average monthly hours of sunshine in Seattle
Data: NOAA; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Buckle up, Seattle, the Big Dark is on its way.

Driving the news: Next week, those of us who live at latitude 47.6 degrees in Seattle will see our last post-6pm sunset of the year.

  • It won't be until March that we see one again.

Why it matters: Seattle is losing light faster than almost any other city in the contiguous U.S., now dropping about 6 minutes — 3 minutes at both sunrise and sunset — per day, according to Justin Shaw of the Seattle Weather Blog.

  • "It's like the clock is accelerating toward the 'Big Dark,'" said Shaw, who defines the big dark as the period between Halloween and February each year.
  • "You go to work in the dark; you go home in the dark and even when it's day, it's cloudy and rainy and you don't see the sun."

Be smart: Newcomers may not be prepared for how dark it gets and could be surprised to find themselves experiencing seasonal affective disorder, according to David Avery, professor emeritus at UW Medicine.

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