Y-105FM logo
Get our free mobile app

We may not have snow on the ground, but we WILL start having another sure sign of spring as we move through December here in Minnesota. 

I'd always heard that the shortest day of the year is still ahead of us-- December 21st, when winter 'officially' begins, which is also known as the winter solstice. And while that's still true, here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes this year, we'll start to see sunsets occurring LATER in the afternoon even BEFORE December 21st.

Wait, what's that?!? Well, it's a quirk of science, which according to this explanation from MPR Chief Meteorologist Paul Huttner and TimeAndDate.com, is due mainly to the fact that our earth's orbit isn't a perfect elliptical orbit as it travels around the sun each day. As a result, each solar day isn't exactly 24 hours long-- it varies. Which, if you carry the two and try to digest the other science, means that our sunsets start occurring later each evening here in the North Star State even BEFORE the winter solstice on December 21st.

READ MORE: A White Christmas Officially Threatened in MN This Year

In fact, according to TimeAndDate.com, the later sunsets in the Twin Cities in Minnesota in 2023 are set to happen again on Friday, December 15th. That's when the sun will start to set at 4:32 pm CST. It has been setting a minute earlier, at 4:31 pm CST, as it has since December 5th

And by Thursday, December 21st, the winter solstice, the sun will start setting across the western horizon here in the Bold North at 4:34 pm CST-- a whole three minutes earlier! Now, as Meteorologist Huttner notes, while we're not talking about a huge amount of time, those ever-so-slight later sunsets WILL give us some brighter evenings here in the Bold North-- especially when the skies are clear, as they're supposed to be the next few days.

Now, if we could just do something about the lack of snow, right?!? I confess, I actually LIKE the snow and wish we'd have some for Christmas this year. All the bone-chilling cold, though? That I'm not a huge fan of, which is surprising, given that I've lived in two of the coldest cities in America. Keep scrolling to see if YOU'VE lived in one of these places... (and, I'm guessing you probably have!)

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5

BRRRR: The 15 Coldest Cities in America