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

Sooke’s quest for a new library mired in delays and controversy

District now confident new page turned in planned construction of building

New, feature-length documentary on missing woman Emma Fillipoff comes out next year

The film follows Fillipoff’s disappearance and the ongoing investigation

Escaped Metchosin inmate sentenced to additional year tacked on to 14-year sentence

Man escaped from William Head Institution arrested days later in Esquimalt

Barbecue cooks up benefits for Movember foundation

Father’s battle with prostate cancer encourages Victoria man to support the cause

VIDEO: The sticky truth about winter moths and how Greater Victoria arborists fight them

Winter moths have ‘killed a lot of trees’ across the region, says Oak Bay arborist

12 Sooke events to get you into the holiday spirit

From a Santa parade to classicial music, Sooke has it all

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

EDITORIAL: It’s time to face the truth on drug use

The homeless don’t own the drug epidemic

Most Read