Winter Solstice, the first official day of winter, often gets short-shrift due to its proximity to Christmas and the fact that many people are often buried in snow and ice, and fighting the bitter cold.
Which might lead you to ask: why celebrate winter? What I usually hear is that most people can’t wait for it to be over. All that cold weather and darkness makes them wish for the long, warm days of summer.
Well, here are some things that are unique to winter and, in my opinion, worthy of celebration.
To start with, winter has been celebrated since ancient times as a season of light and nature. Once the solstice comes — December 21st — the days begin to get brighter again, and eventually, the summer sunlight returns. The first day of winter is a sign that literally, brighter days are ahead. The shortest day of the year is just that — each day after gets longer and brighter.
The lights of winter. Let’s face it, whether they are lighting up a Christmas tree, or burning as candles on your Hanukkah menorah, lights are all around us this season. Most communities light up their downtown areas and beyond; there are holiday decorations as far as the eye can see, and even the stars seem to glow brighter on a cold winter night.
Winter colors. While white is definitely the predominant color of winter, there are so many others that we often overlook. Winter skies bring a mixture of grey, blue, and at sunset, golden oranges mixed in. The varied lights and decorations of the holidays also add a splash of cheer to this otherwise bleak time of year.
Heavy rain and mountain snow will pound the northwestern United States early this week, with the most significant impacts targeting Northern California.
Southern California bore the brunt of the latest storm to blast into the western United States on Friday.
Less than a week after tornadoes tore through parts of Houston and New Orleans, a new threat of flooding and locally severe thunderstorms will return into Monday.
The taste of spring across the United Kingdom will peak on Monday before the threat for windstorms returns.
A stormy weather pattern unfolding across Europe this week will lead to showers and gusty winds sweeping into Germany on a daily basis.
A tropical low will threaten coastal communities around the Gulf of Carpentaria with flooding downpours through early this week.
One of the biggest storms in years bombarded Southern California with heavy rain and gusty winds to end the week.
On Friday afternoon, the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which may start a new era for the environmental policy of the United States.