Winter officially arrives on the North Olympic Peninsula on Saturday at 5:14 p.m.

That’s the day of the shortest daylight period — only 8 hours, 25 minutes — and longest darkness of the year.

Following the winter solstice, when the sun rises at 8 a.m. and sets at 4:25 p.m., the days will grow longer and the nights shorter.

The sun, which is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word “solstice,” which comes from Latin solstitium, a “sun stoppage.

The exact opposite will happen Saturday in the Southern Hemisphere, which will experience the first day of summer and the longest daylight period of the year.

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