Sunset at Cattle Point in Oak Bay. (Keri Coles/News staff)

More daylight coming to Greater Victoria

Winter solstice on Dec. 21 marks transition to more sunlight

Winter may officially start on the Dec. 21 solstice, but as far as meteorologists are concerned, winter weather begins weeks earlier.

Armel Castellan, a meteorologist for Environment Canada based in Sidney, said “winter, for meteorologists, started on Dec. 1. For everybody following the Gregorian astronomical calendar, it starts on the solstice. Astronomically speaking, it makes a lot of sense, but if you think about it meteorologically, we’ve been in ‘winter weather.’”

Winter weather for Greater Victoria typically lasts December through February, with spring starting with March, he said.

Dec. 21 will bring the shortest day of the year. In Victoria, the sunrise will be at 8:02 a.m. and sunset at 4:20 p.m.

By Jan. 25, the amount of daylight will increase to more than nine hours, and a full hour will have been gained by Jan. 28.

READ MORE: More storms brewing for Greater Victoria

“I think people will notice physiologically. You know that winter is a good way through and we’re on our way to more sunlight, which is nice,” he said.

As November is typically Victoria’s rainiest month, the solstice on Dec. 21 is also around halfway through the wettest time of the year.

The weather forecast is indirectly related to the orientation of the earth as it rotates on its axis (the same conditions that cause the equinox and solstice as the earth tilts toward and away from the sun). Castellan said the longer days also bring the sun higher in the sky, increasing its daily impact on the weather.

It’s also why the jet stream is so strong in December, January and February, he added, pointing to the parade of storms that have hit Greater Victoria since Dec. 9.

“I think it’s common knowledge that solstice and Christmas happen at the same time from a pagan to religious shift,” Castellan said. “Realizing there’s a very clear link between a festival of light during the darkest part of the year is very interesting.”

READ MORE: Mount Washington opening for winter season


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sidney handles plastic bags with wait-and-see approach

Officials say they will wait for courts and provincial action concerning single-use plastic bags

Delays expected on Interurban Road due to wastewater treatment project in Saanich

Traffic down to a single alternating lane until Sunday evening

Last week for first year of Oak Bay deer contraception campaign

Crew working to administer second booster to all 60 does

West Shore RCMP bust seizes $50,000 worth of drugs

More than 300 grams of cocaine and crack-cocaine seized in Victoria

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

British family deported after ‘accidental’ U.S. border crossing

U.S. officials deny it was mistake, release video of vehicle crossing into Washington from Langley

LETTERS: Wolf kills, wilderness protection and caribou recovery

Readers respond to Tom Fletcher’s column on B.C. program

Kamloops man hangs on to back of stolen truck as suspect speeds away, crashes

The pickup truck was seen leaving the roadway before bursting into flames

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Most Read