News & Press: Natural world

Real Winter is upon us

21 December 2018   (0 Comments)
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Today, 21 December, is the astronomical start of Winter.

The Sun reaches its furthest southerly latitude of 23º26.1’ at 2223 UTC on 21 December - the Winter Solstice for the northern hemisphere and the start of astronomical Winter.

The Sun will re-cross the equatorial into the northern hemisphere at 2158 UTC on 20 March 2019 - the Vernal Equinox and the start of astronomical Spring.

But, in meteorological terms, northern Winter is defined as the months of December, January and February, with Spring following for the 3 months from 1 March.

From 2002, the EU has stipulated that all member states should adopt ’Summer Time’ between the last Sundays in March and October - the clocks to change at 0100 UTC. So, in 2019, BST will apply from 31 March to 27 October. Whether UK complies is open to question.

Details from the Royal Observatory