Today was the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. In a Thursday interview, Meteorologist Don Day explains that even though the days are getting longer, this is also the time of year when the time difference from one day to the next is the smallest.

Winter solstice:

“Right now, on the first day of winter is actually the longest night and the shortest day. After today, we slowly begin to gain a little bit of day as compared to the night. So we actually, from here on out and into the spring season, will slowly gain daylight and lose a little bit of nighttime. So it happens, unfortunately, this time of year and into January and February at a slow pace and then we pick up speed and get more of those daylight minutes as we get into March, April and May, as we get into the spring season. So, there’s a little bit of good news as we get into the first day of winter because the days aren’t going to get any shorter; they’re going to get longer, but at a snail’s pace. It gradually goes up over time.”

The lengthening and shortening of days is fastest during the equinoxes, in March and September. Also, says Day, that because the low sun angle allows ice to form in the northern latitudes, among other reasons, the coldest part of the winter is in late January and early February.