December Solstice (Winter Solstice) is on Monday, December 21, 2015 at 11:49 PM in Ottawa. That’s less than an hour away as I write this. Hurray! Turn-Around Day, when we begin the slow but inexorable march to spring. Today was 6 hours and 58 minutes shorter than the day at June solstice. Tomorrow will be less than a second longer. The next day, 4 seconds longer, as we move towards the light!
Last winter was long, snowy, and bitterly cold. By November 22, we already had a few inches of snow on the ground. So far this year, winter has hardly begun. We have enjoyed an extended fall season of mild temperatures and only a little dusting of snow a few days ago, which quickly melted away. Right now, it is 4 degrees C (40 F) and a light rain is falling. No matter what January and February have to offer, we have been spared a month of harsh weather and the winter will be shorter.