Even with highs in the upper 60s across much of the Brazos Valley, as of 11:47 this morning we are now officially in the winter season. Today is known as the Winter Solstice and tonight will be the longest night of the year. Just because this is the shortest day of the year doesn't mean it will be the coldest, especially today. The coldest day of the year won't occur until late January/ early February because the oceans retain some heat from summer, and that heat causes the coldest day of the year to occur after the shortest day of the year.
Today's solstice also means that we will receive the least amount of daylight, and the sun will remain the lowest in the sky of any other day of the year. The sun will be directly overhead today along the Tropic of Capricorn, located at 23.5 degrees South, which is the Southernmost point on Earth that can experience the Sun directly overhead.
While here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are just beginning our winter season, the opposite is occurring across the Southern Hemisphere. This means that it can't be the distance from the Earth to the Sun that affects our season. While this distance does change as the Earth makes its orbit around the sun, it isn't large enough to really affect our seasons. In fact, seasons are affected by the Earth's roughly 23.5 degree tilt, and this tilting either toward or away from the sun causes the seasonal changes in our weather.
So when can we expect it to feel more like winter? It shouldn't be long now. Late Wednesday evening a cold front is expected to bring a blast of cold air to the Brazos Valley. While we won't see a white Christmas, we will feel a cold one.