Farewell fall, welcome winter

Winter arrives at 10:19 p.m. on Saturday. In the Northern Hemisphere, where most of the world's population lives, the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night. (CNN/file)
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(KWTX) Winter arrives at 10:19 p.m. on Saturday, the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight.

Blame it on the tilt of the planet, which creates the seasons.

In winter, Earth tilts away from the sun, causing shorter days and longer, colder nights.

Because Earth does not rotate in a perfect circle, the winter solstice doesn’t happen on the same date or time each year.

It also has to do with the calendar system.

We don’t have the same number of days each year; think about leap years (heads up, 2020 is one of those) and that can change the date of the solstice, too.

In terms of Central Texas weather this winter, the most important factor, El Nino, is thousands of miles away.

In El Nino years warmer ocean temperatures are present near South America.

In La Nina years, sea surface temperatures are colder.

This winter, we are in neither an El Nino nor La Nina year, but instead a neutral pattern.

This will still impact our weather in Central Texas.

We expect temperatures to be warmer than normal overall, but a neutral pattern typically means more freezes and more extreme arctic outbreaks with near normal amounts of precipitation.

As for snow, don’t get your hopes up.

In neutral years we rarely see snow, but that said, we have gotten at least a trace of snow during all but nine winters since 1901.