Welcome to meteorological winter!
For the sake of climate record keeping, December-January-February is considered winter although the actual solstice doesn’t occur this year until the 21st at 3:48 p.m. That’s when the sun crosses to the Tropic of Capricorn and, more than anything, the least daylight occurs. From that day forward we move back toward ever-so-slightly longer daylight hours! Temperatures cool down (usually) with average highs in the mid-60s and lows in the mid-40s, although we’ve dropped to single digits in this month and also reached the mid-80s!
I well remember that December of 1989 which rivaled the cold outbreak of February 2021! The grid did better back then, but we still had a day of ‘brown-outs’ where the power would be cut on and off an hour at a time! The 30-day climate outlook for this month suggests much warmer than normal, so a big freeze isn’t likely. Rain chances are about normal:
In the sky, you’ve probably already noticed our waxing moon along with Jupiter nearby and Mars not far away! Look for the Full Cold Moon, as it’s called, on Dec. 7, at 10:08 p.m. Interestingly, on “occultation” of the moon and Mars occurs the same night, meaning that Mars passes behind the moon for a few hours. However, while Dallas to San Antonio will witness that celestial event, Houston is just out of reach. You can read more about this occultation right here from Scientific American. And here is a link as to who’s in and who’s out.
We can all witness a couple of meteor showers this month. The Geminids is the better of the two, peaking Dec. 13-14, while the Ursids show up Dec. 22-23.
And, of course, you don’t have to look UP to see lots of lights this month!
Enjoy the illuminating skies, the holiday lights and the temperatures -- whatever they end up being. Delightful Dickens on the Strand starts today in Galveston and while the island temps may be on the mild side this weekend, Dickens continues to be one of the best festivals across the country every year! (Here’s more to do this weekend!) Get down there and raise a pint!
Have a great weekend full of hope and wonder!