From the ABC 7 Weather team

Earliest sunset of the year; shortest day of the year is soon

December 3, 2013 - 03:34 PM
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We're counting down the days until daylight begins to return. Here's your cheat sheet through the winter months.

The sun sets at 4:46pm this evening and will continue to do so for the next week and a half. In fact, the earliest sunset of the year spans between December 1st and December 12th, all coming at 4:46pm. By December 13th, the sun begins to set later, but days continue to get shorter through the winter solstice, which lies on December 21st. The shortest days of the year are December 20th-22nd, which all have 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight.

Above is a look at the sunrise and sunset times over the next few months. The sunrise continues to get later through the end of the month, with the latest sunrise at 7:27am from December 30th through January 10th. The first sunset at 5:00pm in 2014 will be on January 4th, and you can see how much daylight we gain by the 31st, with the sunrise at 7:15am and the sunset all the way to 5:28pm.

This will give you a better perspective on how much daylight D.C. will have on a given date. On the solstice, there's only 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight, but we'll add on an additional 47 minutes by the end of January, and over an hour more to the end of February. The first day with over 12 hours of daylight comes on March 17th. The sunlight will last us all the way to September 26th, 2014, which is the next time D.C. falls below 12 hours of daylight.

There are only 18 days left until the winter solstice, and 104 days left until we get more than 12 hours of daylight. Let the countdown begin!


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