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The Winter Solstice Begins
Posted at 2:44 PM, Dec 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-22 14:44:55-05
Winter Arrived Friday Dec. 21st, 2018 (5:23pm)

Winter officially arrived at 5:23pm this past Friday December 21st, 2018. The Winter solstice occurs when the sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky and farthest point from the North Pole. It of course is a little different in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter solstice is the day with the least hours of sunlight for the whole year which is 9 hours, 24 minutes and 1 seconds.The word “solstice” is derived from Latin solstitium—from sol (sun) and stitium (standing), referring to the fact that on the solstice, the sun appears to stop moving in the sky as it reaches its northern- or southernmost point. After the solstice, the sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction.

It surely didn't feel like it with high temperatures in the 60s and even some severe weather. The short sleeve weather didn't last long though and the reality of the early winter chill has returned. There is even some snow in the mountains of Maryland so for those fantasizing about a "White Christmas" just make the 2.5 hour trek west to make your dream come true.

So far sleds, snowmen, snowwomen, snowplows, snow blowers, and hefty winter jackets are nowhere to be found. It's more like umbrellas and boats with nearly 70 inches of rain for the year and 9 more days to add onto that total before the year is out.

Rain Through December 21st

Christmas and Kwanzaa look dry with highs in the 40s before we start to see the change to more of a Winter like regime in the long range forecast ahead. All is quiet until the end of 2018. More rain and highs near 60 return to the forecast later next week before the big flip.

Rain Friday From The European Model
Friday Rain From The GFS Model

This so called "flip" will be a result of the Polar Vortex. As the Polar Vortex moves back and forth on top of the globe it displaces cold air south into the United. Currently all of our long range models are suggesting this leading to a more active weather pattern ahead.

With 70" of rain so far this year it seems to be a high probability that increased precipitation probabilities will remain into 2019. The question is too if the cold air will line up with the precip for snow.
As of the 8-14 day forecast it looks as if temperatures will remain average and precipitation will be above normal.

So we may not have a White Christmas, but just remember Winter is just getting started. Who knows maybe it will snow as the ball drops to 2019. Just some wishful thinking!!!