Winter begins Friday afternoon

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Astronomical winter begins on Friday, December 21 at 4:23 p.m. Central Time. At the time of the winter solstice, the sun appears in its southernmost position. While winter begins in the northern hemisphere at this time, it marks the start of the summer season in the southern hemisphere.

The first day of winter is also the day we receive our shortest amount of daylight. Friday will have nine hours, seven minutes and eight seconds of daylight. By the time the summer solstice arrives in June, we will have 15 hours, 14 minutes and 19 seconds of daylight.

Yes, our daylight hours will begin to increase, and the sun’s path will begin to shift northward across the sky. However, it will take a few months for temperatures to catch up. In fact, January is our coldest month, on average.

Welcome, winter!

At the moment of the winter solstice, the sun's most direct rays will be over the Tropic of Capricorn, the farthest south they get in the year.