Solar Winter Under Way

November 7, 2011; 3:50 AM ET
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The Northern Hemisphere is entering the quarter of the year with the least amount of daylight, known as solar winter.

As the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the direct rays of the sun, over 50 percent of the hemisphere is in darkness at any one time. Colder air during the winter months is a direct link to the smaller amount of daylight.

Solar winter also marks the beginning of the second half of autumn in the North. This is the time of the year that is linked to bigger storms organizing across the country as stronger cold waves ripple southward. Strong cold fronts that sweep into the Gulf of Mexico and off of the East Coast usher in much-cooler and drier air into tropical breeding grounds. This helps diminish the risk for tropical development in the Gulf and Atlantic.

Content contributed by Meteorologist Meghan Evans.


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