The Weather Page

December 13, 2006|By FRANK ROYLANCE | FRANK ROYLANCE,Sun Reporter -- Weather Blogger

Jim Kniss of Aberdeen asks why we regard the winter solstice (Dec. 21) as the start of winter: "It would be logical to define winter as the coldest three-month period of the year ... between very early December and very early March." I agree. So do meteorologists, whose statistical "winter" runs from Dec. 1 through the end of February. Our ancestors, too, saw the shortest days as midwinter, and held solstice rituals to ensure the sun's return. (Worked every time.) "Midsummer's Day" is still celebrated around June 21.

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