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Liz Bickel | all galleries >> Themed Galleries >> Themes: Multiple Galleries >> Everything: Multiple Galleries >> F >> Flora: Multiple Galleries >> Christmas Cactus >> Christmas Cactus 2019-2029 > First Day of Astronomical Winter 2022
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21-Dec-2022 copyright Elizabeth Bickel

First Day of Astronomical Winter 2022

The Winter Solstice

The word “solstice” derives from sol, the Latin word for sun, and sistere, which means “to come to a stop or make stand”. Arriving on the same day across the globe, a solstice occurs when the sun reaches its lowest or highest point in the sky during the year as a result of the Earth’s axis tilting to or away from the sun.

For people who live in the Northern Hemisphere, this Wednesday was the one day of the year with the shortest period of sunlight. The solstice began 4:48pm ET on 21 December.


Along with the official start of Winter, our area is now under a Winter Storm Warning for Thursday with blowing snow and dangerous wind chills ahead. The National Weather Service issued the Winter Storm Warning for the entire region. The warning started at 6 p.m. Wednesday (just an hour the Winter Solstice occurred) and doesn't expire until midnight Friday.

After midnight tonight, temperatures will now start falling rapidly. Forecasters expect high temperatures to be zero to the low single digits both Thursday and Friday — and they probably won’t make it past this until after Christmas Day. Low temperatures each day will be around minus -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

But the cold isn’t the only problem. Strong winds will also lead to incredibly cold wind chills. Meteorologists expect 45 mph or higher wind gusts, particularly Thursday and Friday. The strong winds and cold temperatures will create wind chill temperatures of MINUS 40 degrees or lower BELOW ZERO (both Fahrenheit and Centigrade), which could be life threatening for anyone outside too long.


Warned of this severe weather event in advance, we have now moved about 70% of my Tropical House plants from the Solar Room into the main living areas of our house The other plants (that remain in the Solar Room) are now covered with blankets (to try to prevent them from freezing to death) and are as close to the space heaters as we could get them. Those are mainly older plants in pots too big to move.


Today now seems a lifetime away from the last Solstice in 2022'


The pretty Christmas Cactus in my photo is an old one that has been sitting in my kitchen window year-round for many years. It is unaffected by the weather outdoors. Today is its first time blooming this season.

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Carl Carbone23-Dec-2022 00:06
Pretty capture!
larose forest photos22-Dec-2022 18:03
A fitting shot for the winter solstice. Beautifully photographed too. V
Wintermeer22-Dec-2022 14:12
Most delightful! ~V~
Helen Betts22-Dec-2022 13:50
Great shot of this beautiful Christmas cactus! How lucky you are to have it year-round.
Jola Dziubinska22-Dec-2022 09:07
Beautiful Christmas cactus blossom. Stay safe and have a Merry Christmas, Liz. V.
joseantonio22-Dec-2022 07:40
lovely colors for this winter season.V