Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday; remember to ‘fall back’

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Sunday morning at 2 a.m. clocks will fall back an hour giving Minnesotans an extra hour of sleep as Daylight Saving Time ends.

This coming Saturday morning the sun will rise at 8:04, but Sunday morning it rises at 7:08.

But with the earlier morning sunlight it means it will be getting darker an hour earlier in the evening.  Saturday the sun will set at 6:07, but Sunday the sunset comes at 5:06.

An easy way to remember how DST affects our clocks and daily lives is the little saying, “Spring ahead, Fall behind.”

As we move toward the winter solstice Dec. 21, the days keep getting continually shorter. We are still losing about 3 minutes of sunlight a day, nearly 20 minutes a week. Through the month of November the area loses 1 hour and 6 minutes of daylight. However, the rate of loss slows in December as we approach the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year.

By the winter solstice Dec. 21, the sun rises at 7:59 and sets at 4:43 for only 8 hours and 44 minutes of sunlight. That compares to a day length of 15 hours and 40 minutes at the summer solstice June 21. That is just short of seven hours more sunlight. It won’t be until the March 17 that we see an equal number of daylight hours and darkness hours.

Not only do the loss of sunlight and low angle of the sun contribute to dark days, so does the increasingly cloudiness we experience. That doesn’t seem like much of a change from October, which has seen an unusually high number of cloudy days.

“The degree of cloudiness begins to increase, peaking during the month of November in Minnesota when two thirds of the days are mostly cloudy and most of the remaining days are partly cloudy,” University of Minnesota Climatologist Mark Seeley says. “This produces a condition of highly diffuse light rather than direct sunlight.”

There is less than a 40 percent chance of seeing the sun during November and perfectly clear days are almost unheard of, Seeley writes in his weekly Weather Talk column.  “In this regard then, we not only lose day length (or quantity of light), but we also lose out on direct sunlight (or the quality of light),” he says.

Daylight Saving Time Ends
Days are getting shorter

Date    Sunrise    Sunset    Day length
Oct. 31    8:00    6:11    10 hrs 11 min
Nov. 3    8:04    6:07    10 hrs 3 min
Nov. 4    7:06    5:06    10 hrs 0 min

Winter Solstice – Shortest Day
Dec. 21    7:59    4:43      8 hours 44 min


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