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

Downtown Victoria Green Party office faces break-in

Racelle Kooy’s office saw thousands of dollars worth of equipment stolen

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

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

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

Rickter Scale: A novel approach to balancing the books

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

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

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

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

COLUMN: Halloween shouldn’t be a purity test

The holiday is a time of pretending and fun

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

Most Read