Shrinking Daylight

Bill's Blog

October sunset – by Bill Steffen

The pic. above is a recent October sunset – I took the pic. Daylight continues to shrink. Here in mid-late October, we are losing 2 3/4 min. of daylight each day. The sunrise for G.R. tomorrow AM (Wed.) is at 8:03 am (after 8 am). Today we get 10 hours and 52 minutes of daylight (time between the official sunrise and sunset) and that’s down from 15 hours and 21 minutes at the Summer Solstice back on June 20.

The sun is highest in the sky at solar noon, which today (Tue.) is at 1:27 pm. It’s not at 12 o’clock because we move the clock one hour ahead for Daylight Saving Time and because we live at the west edge of a time zone.

Today at solar noon, the sun is 37 degrees above the horizon. On the Summer Solstice, the sun is 37 degrees above the horizon at 5:47 pm and 70 degrees above the horizon at solar noon. On the Winter Solstice, which this year is on December 21 at 10:59 am, the sun will be only 24 degrees above the southern horizon.

The average high/low temperature for today is 59/41. So with afternoon temperatures near 70 today and tomorrow, that’s unseasonably warm for this time of year. The record high temperature for today is 80, set in 1910 and again in 1920. The record low temperature for Oct. 19 is 19 set in 1974.

On this date in 1989, the Grand Rapids area had 4-8″ of snow! The heaviest snow fell in a band from Allendale to Sparta and there was thunder and lightning with the snow! I remember going out to knock snow off my trees and bushes with a hockey stick! The heavy, wet snow caused downed tree limbs and power outages.

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