Tired of driving in the dark in Texas? Here’s when we’ll start getting more daylight

When daylight saving time ended in early November, Texans gained an hour of sleep. That was the good news.

Then the sun began setting earlier — today it will set at 5:23 p.m. But there is hope for those seeking more of the sun.

The winter solstice will fall sometime between Dec. 21-22 this year, which will mark the shortest day and longest night of the year. But after the solstice occurs, our days begin to lengthen.

Here’s what we know about the winter solstice and when Texans will begin to see more daylight:

What is the winter solstice?

The winter solstice is an annual event that occurs when the path of the sun is furthest south in the Northern hemisphere, according to Britannica.

During the solstice, the North Pole is tilted about 23.4 degrees away from the sun. Because of this tilt and being so far from the sun, the solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.

The winter solstice also marks the first day of winter.

How is daylight gained back after the winter solstice?

While the winter solstice marks the start of winter, it also signifies the return of additional sunlight, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

The daylight gains will be small at first, if not just a few seconds each day. As the calendar continues into the first few months of 2024, the daylight gain will be in the minutes each day.

The daylight gain will slow by May as the summer solstice approaches in June. During the summer solstice, the amount of daylight will peek and give way to the longest day and shortest night of the year.

Essentially, after the winter solstice in December and before the summer solstice in June, the amount of daylight increases until it peaks, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

The opposite is in effect from the summer to winter solstice, as the amount of daylight decreases until it peaks with the longest night of the year in December.

Is there a way to determine how much daylight there is in a day?

Yes, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has a sunrise/sunset calculator that tracks time for every corner of the country.

For example, the calculator states that for Fort Worth on Thursday, Nov. 30, there will be 10 hours and 13 minutes of daylight. By the expected winter solstice date on Dec. 21, the calculator states that there will be 10 hours and 2 minutes of sunlight.

A month later on Jan. 21, 2024, the daylight meter is already at 10 hours and 23 minutes. Another month later on Feb. 21, 2024, the daylight count is up to 11 hours and 15 minutes.