Whatever winter festival you celebrate: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, or something else, there is no denying that it is good to pass the Solstice. They days are getting longer....slowly; we gained 2 seconds on the 22nd, 6 seconds today, 10 seconds on the 24th and it just keeps getting better. Actually, I guess its not even a bad time for residents on the other side of the equator...mid-summer?
Daylength is a funny thing; it's assymetrical; sunrise and sunset change at different rates. The earliest time for sunset in the DC area is 4:46 and we sit on that for almost two weeks. Sunset has already moved 5 minutes in the right direction. The problem is that sunrise hasn't reached its latest time (it will rise at 7:27 December 31) so, while we are adding sunlight in the afternoon, we are still losing it in the morning. Anyway, post-Solstice, we are making net daily gains even though they are at this point very small ones. Baby steps, but by the 8th of January we will be gaining a minute a day and it gets better after that until we reach the Summer Solstice.