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Winter Solstice: When winter officially arrives this week

RICHMOND, Va. — The winter solstice occurs on Thursday, December 21 at 11:48 a.m.  This marks the beginning of astronomical winter.

This is when the sun’s direct rays are over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere.

We have been losing daylight ever since summer began in June.  From this point forward, the amount of daylight will either stay the same or increase by a minute for the remainder of the month.

The earliest Richmond sunset is 4:51 p.m., which occurred November 30th through December 12th.  The sunset by December 31st moves to 5:01 p.m.  Sunrises continue to get later, ranging from 7:06 a.m. on December 1st to 7:24 a.m. by the end of the month.  Our sunrises start getting earlier in mid-January.