One Man's Alaska

Winter Solstice in Alaska

December 22, 2010

Some how I managed to go through the day without noting that yesterday (December 21, 2010) was the Winter Solstice. For Alaskans -- and anyone suffering from SADD -- this most importantly means that the days are no longer getting shorter, and are indeed now getting longer. On December 21st we lost about another six seconds of sunlight, but starting on December 22nd, we're gaining about five seconds of sunlight per day. The days will not keep getting longer and longer (more sunlight) until June 21st, at which point the days are getting longer by something like six minutes per day (and you can drive around at 2 a.m. without your headlights on).

I took the Winter Solstice to mean that winter is over, well, almost over, but the official definition of the Winter Solstice seems to mark this day as the beginning of winter. (I hate to tell them, but winter began here back in October.) Myself, I'm going to stay on the sunny side, and just keep thinking about the days getting longer and longer for the next six months.

As for the weather, last night was wicked-cold. I was driving around with a friend, and my car temperature was showing ten degrees Fahrenheit, but it was accompanied by a strong wind that cut right through everything I was wearing, including thermals and blue jeans, three shirts and a sweater, a heavy winter coat from North Face, and two wool winter hats.

But that's okay, the days are getting longer now, and that's the only thing that's important.

back to the One Man's Alaska front page