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

Former runaway teen helps find missing youths through social media

Alex Meikle created the Facebook group Greater Victoria Missing & Runaway Teens

Character of the community revealed in new Oak Bay track mural

Artist Luke Ramsey marches along with latest public work

Victoria offers $63,000 in grants to build better neighbourhoods

Grants are up to $5,000 for placemaking projects and up to $1,000 for activities

Candidate Corner: Cowichan-Malahat-Langford hopefuls talk environment and climate change

This is part one of a four-part series outlining candidates’ thoughts on key topics

Cloudy skies, showers ahead for Monday

Plus a look ahead at your week

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Give severely addicted drug users injectable medical-grade heroin, guideline says

CMAJ article outlines best practices for innovative treatment that’s been lacking in overdose crisis

B.C. court hears disclosure arguments in Meng Wanzhou case

Huawei exec argues she was unlawfully detained at YVR last December at direction of U.S. authorities

Trudeau attacks Scheer, Harper, Ford in first federal salvo for Ontario

Liberal leader targets three big conservative rivals in second full week of campaign

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Most Read