Many people will see the snow that's currently blanketing much of the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. as a nuisance coating sidewalks and roads. Others are celebrating it as an excuse to spend the day swooshing down a hill.
The December solstice is coming! At 4:03 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on December 21st, the Sun reaches its most distant point south in 2014, as viewed from Earth. This defines the December solstice, which is the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere.
Do you know when the Earth is nearest the sun? It’s January 4th, during what is typically the coldest part of our winter. Seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s rotation axis, not by our distance from the sun.
When the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun in late December and January we experience deep winter, while the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun and experiencing summer.