KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The season will change from fall to winter early Tuesday.

At 9:59 a.m., the sun’s rays will be shining directly on the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, marking the start of the winter season for the Northern Hemisphere.

For bookkeeping purposes in meteorology, we start the “winter” season on the first of December every year, so that the start/stop times of the seasons remain consistent (Meteorological Winter begins Dec. 1, Meteorological Spring begins March 1, etc.).

Winter begins tomorrow but meteorological Winter actually started December 1st.

The amount of daylight will also start turning around during the first few days of winter. For Monday, sunset will be at 4:58 p.m. and we’ll have about 9 hours and 25 minutes of daylight.

But by Dec. 23, we’ll be back to 5 p.m. sunsets, and we’ll have added about six seconds to our day compared to Dec. 22! So longer days are coming soon!

Sunrise/sunset times and amount of daylight for the late December. Credit: timeanddate.com

So even though the calendar says December and with winter starting Tuesday, we’re still waiting for actual winter conditions to get to Kansas City. In fact, this has been one the warmest Decembers so far in KC weather history. Through the 19th, this December is the 6th warmest!

Including Sunday, this is the 6th-warmest December on record. Credit: ACIS

And we’ve even seen 70s this month, too, going back to last Wednesday, and another day in early December. The last time that we had two days of 70+ degree weather was in 1956.

We’ll be mild still for the rest of this week and Christmas, but probably won’t hit 70 degrees for a third time in December.

Two days of 70 degrees or more ties December of 1956 and 1939.

We may find some more winter-like cold as we transition into 2022. Cold air that has been locked up in Canada for most of this month may be moving down into the United States for the last few days of December and into early January.

Both of our “long-range” models are picking up on a drop to a more “seasonal” level in early January.

The European ensemble model through early January cools us down big time.
The GFS ensemble model has a similar pattern.

So don’t be too surprised if we start shifting our focus to some colder shots of air next week! As for snow, that’s harder to say, but with bigger temperatures changes coming, that usually means that precipitation comes with it. We’ll keep you up-to-date!

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