The word solstice comes from the Latin words for ‘sun’ and ‘to stand still’…

The UAE will witness the shortest days of the year starting December 18, 2023. It is expected to last at least a week until Sunday, December 24, 2023.

The annual astronomical phenomenon is called the winter solstice. According to Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society, the nights will be approximately 13 hours and 28 minutes long.

What is the winter solstice?

The winter solstice, also called the hibernal solstice, occurs when either of Earth’s poles reaches its maximum tilt away from the Sun. This happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere.

During the winter solstice, the sun travels the shortest path through the sky which means the day will have the least daylight. Since this is the shortest day of the year, it only makes sense that it will also be the longest night of the calendar year. 

From then onwards the days become increasingly long leading up to the Summer Solstice which usually occurs in June around the 20th, 21st or 22nd. Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year.

What does this mean for the weather?

Maybe a few of you have noticed it, but the weather has gotten a tad cooler over the past week. But just because it’s the winter solstice doesn’t mean it’s going to be the coldest night of the year.

In case you’re curious, the coldest temperature ever recorded in the UAE was just -2ºC, in January 2021. That was the first time since records began, that temperatures in the UAE have breached the zero degrees barrier.

As for the weather forecast for this week, the lowest temperature in Abu Dhabi will be 12 degrees on Friday, and the lowest measure for Dubai will be 14 degrees, also on Friday. As for our friends in the Northern Emirates, throughout the week they will experience temperatures ranging from 14 to 16 degrees.

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