January is Seattle's month of gloom. But there's light ahead
The shortest day of the year has come and gone, but some of our gloomiest days may still be ahead, according to Seattle-area forecasters.
Why it matters: While we're gaining a minute or so of evening light now, the sun does not begin to rise earlier until later in the month.
- For people struggling with winter depression or seasonal affective disorder, the cumulative negative effects of our dark days can surge in January, Dr. David Avery, UW Medicine psychiatrist tells Axios.
- Morning light is key for those groups, he says, because it helps regulate our circadian rhythm, affecting hormone production, appetite and sleep cycles significantly more than evening light.
Details: The average number of clear days in January? Three, according to National Weather Service Seattle meteorologist Johnny Burg.
- That's a slight improvement over the two cloudless days we typically see in November and December, but not by much.
- But the good news is we will start to pick up more morning light once we get deeper into January, Seattle Weather Blog's Justin Shaw says.
- As we get closer to the equinox, the length of the days will increase dramatically, Shaw says.
What they're saying: Circle Jan. 26 on your calendar, says Shaw, as that's when we'll see our first post-5pm sunset of the year, "a literal and figurative light at the end of the tunnel."
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