By Kate Bilo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Winter officially begins tonight at 11:48pm. However, winter weather seems to be nowhere in sight. Temperatures have been above average every single day in December thus far, and we have no cold in the forecast really through the end of the month. It’s looking as though this December will be an easy lock for “Warmest Ever” on record in Philadelphia, and we may have the warmest day yet still to come!
The winter solstice is what signifies the start of winter. The term solstice comes from the latin words sol (meaning sun) and sistere (meaning to stop or be stationary). The winter solstice occurs when the sun reaches the most southern point on it’s sphere, and thus the farthest from our hemisphere. It means that today boasts the shortest daylight hours all year long, only roughly 9 hours and 10 minutes. Contrast that to the summer solstice in June, when we get 14 hours and 49 minutes of daylight!
The best part about the winter solstice is that once it occurs, the days start getting longer again. Add to that temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s and it may feel a lot like spring later this week! It’s not going to be the prettiest week we’ve seen – despite the warmth, we’re expecting clouds, fog and showers every day through Christmas Eve. Christmas Day looks sunny and beautiful, and then clouds and showers invade again for the weekend.
Our warmest day will be December 24, Christmas Eve. It will be very similar to last year, mild and cloudy with scattered showers. Last year we broke a record and hit 64 – this year, we laugh in the face of that record and aim for 72 degrees! Expect Christmas Day to be in the low 60’s with lots of sunshine.