(NEXSTAR) — Winter has officially set in across the U.S., with temperatures falling and snow accumulating in for many. And if the cold wasn’t enough to bring down your spirits, many of us have been a little limited in the amount of daylight we’re experiencing.
We’ve already surpassed “the darkest” day of the season, which fell on Dec. 21 last year. Depending on where you live, you saw as little as six hours of daylight that day.
Since then, we’ve been on an upswing, slowly gaining more daylight each day. The sun has been setting later, but that has been offset by sunrise happening later.
In Chicago, for example, the sun rose at 7:15 a.m. on Dec. 21 and set at 4:23 p.m., according to NOAA’s Solar Calculator. As of Jan. 4, the sun is rising at around 7:18 a.m. and setting at 4:33 p.m., working out to a roughly seven-minute net gain in daylight hours.
We’ll gain much more daylight as January continues along. In some parts of the country, there will be more than an extra hour of daylight by the end of the month.
Residents in Anchorage, Alaska, will see the largest increase in daylight hours this year. NOAA’s Solar Calculator shows the sun rose around 10:14 a.m. local time on Jan. 1 and set around 3:53 p.m., working out to less than six hours of daylight total. By Jan. 31, sunrise will be around 9:23 a.m., and sunset will happen shortly after 5 p.m.: That’s seven hours and 41 minutes of total daylight, an increase of more than two hours over the start of the month.
Areas across the northern Lower 48, like Seattle and the northern tip of Minnesota, will see their total daylight increase by about an hour. The further south you travel in the U.S., the less drastic that increase is, which isn’t necessarily a surprise because these areas are already having more daylight than the northern states.
Tampa, Florida, started the new year with almost 10 and a half hours of daylight. The area will gain about 28 minutes of sunshine before February. Meanwhile, Honolulu is on pace to gain only 20 minutes of daylight — Hawaii is already seeing much more sunlight than the rest of the country, and will close out January with more than 11 hours of sun each day.
Here’s a look at how much daylight cities across the U.S. will gain before February begins:
You can compare your January sunrise and sunset times using NOAA’s Solar Calculator, seen here. You can either click on one of the pre-marked cities on the map, drag the red pin to your location, or input your latitude and longitude below the map. Then, click the “Create Sunrise/Sunset Tables for the Year” button.
We’ll continue to see more and more daylight hours until June, when we have the longest “day,” or most hours between sunrise and sunset. Then, we start losing daylight again.
The daylight gain may seem like it’s briefly interrupted when daylight saving time begins in March. The sun will come up later in the morning and stick around later into the day, but the days will still continue to get longer — much longer than they are now. While Chicago has about nine hours of daylight right now, that’ll be up to almost 12 hours when daylight saving starts.
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