Submitted by ub on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 09:57

Winter has not officially arrived, but the snow has already visited US a couple of times.

The seasons are determined by shifting sunlight which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.

The winter solstice, which is the beginning of winter is known as the darkest day of the year. It's when our Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer and the amount of daylight begins to grow.

Winter inspires both joy and woe. Some folks can not wait for the cold weather, snow, skiing and ice skating, curling up by a fire, and the holiday spirit. Prepare to welcome a cold winter.

This year winter begins with the solstice at 12:11 P.M. on December 21, 2013.