Winter solstice occurs on Wednesday

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RICHMOND, Va. — We had arctic air last week and some freezing rain on Saturday, but the winter solstice officially occurs this week at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday.

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This is when the direct rays of the sun are focused over the Southern Hemisphere.

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We had a nice reprieve from the colder weather Sunday as highs reached into the 60s and 70s.  A strong cold front will cause highs to return to the 30s and 40s Monday into Tuesday.  Milder weather will be in our area for the middle and end of the week.

We have been losing daylight ever since summer began in June, but the amount of daylight will begin increasing at the end of this month.

Our earliest Richmond sunset is 4:51 p.m., which occurred November 30th through December 11th.  The sunset by December 30th will move to 5:01 p.m.  Sunrises continue to get later, occurring at 7:24 a.m. from December 29th to January 12th, but will start getting earlier on January 13th.