Sure, it gets dark in the middle of the afternoon lately,
but have you seen those sunsets? On a semi-clear night, the sky explodes into
shades of pink, blue and lavender. But why, in the colder months, are sunsets
There are a few reasons why winter sunsets are the best
sunsets. For one, Stephen LaDochy, a meteorology and climatology
teacher at Cal State, explained to the LA times that it’s about how light is reflected, scattered and refracted. At sunset, the color
spectrum is broken up, and shorter light waves, like blue and green, are filtered
out, leaving more room for reds and oranges.
Also, in the winter months, there are less particulates in the air
(like pollen, ash from fires and humidity) to create a hazy summer sunset. The
sky is clear, which lets the beautiful colors shine through.
NOAA meteorologist Stephen Corfidi told Vox that the Earth is
angled closer to the sun in winter months, so November through February is peak
sunset season in the northeastern U.S.
Sunsets are also longer around the winter solstice in
December, thanks again to the angle of the sun. The colors hang in the sky, so we have more time to take it all in.
Lastly, winter clouds make a movie screen that bounce the
colors back to us. “In the winter time,
it’s more likely you’ll get well-defined cloud systems,” Corfidi said.
These clouds make the whole thing more intense.
Even though the lack of sunlight makes us blue, at least we have winter sunsets to look forward to every day. The next time you're outside or near a window at that certain time of day, don't forget to look up or out. It's one of the unexpected gifts the season has to offer. And, as they say, every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. Imagine the dawn these beauties will bring!