Winter officially arrives today


And it’s going to feel like it as temperatures plummet.

From staff reports
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Did you think the recent warm spell would last forever? Old Man Winter will have the last laugh.

Today marks the first day of winter, and it will feel like it, the National Weather Service is predicting, with temperatures dropping below freezing tonight.

Today’s dip comes on the heels of a week of temperatures in the 60s that thrilled our guests from frigid climates here for NAIA championship events and the title game.

The first day of winter, also called the solstice, is the shortest day of the year.

After today the amount of daylight in each 24-hour period will get longer until the summer solstice in June, which will be the longest day of the year.

According to the National Weather Service, sunrise today is 7:43 a.m. and sunset is 5:35 p.m.

The first day of spring and the first day of autumn are called equinoxes, the days of the year when the amount of daylight and darkness are the same.

The first day of spring 2009 will fall on March 20. The summer solstice will fall on June 21. The first day of fall will come on Sept. 22.

While Saturday’s cloudy weather is expected to linger into this afternoon, a windy cold day will emerge with a high of only 47 and wind gusts as high as 30 mph. Tonight is expected to be clear with a low around 21.

Monday should be sunny with a high near 40 degrees and Monday night will be even chillier with a low of 17 degrees.

Things will then begin to warm up for the week as the chance of showers increases.

At this point, a 50-percent chance of rain is in the forecast Wednesday night, and on Thursday, Christmas Day, there will be a 30-percent chance of showers with a high of 61.

December has been a rainy month.

The normal rainfall for December is 4.93 inches.

We’ve already passed that, with inches recorded so far this month at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.

Rain to date in 2008 is 45.78 inches, 9.06 inches less than the average year to date.