Backyard Almanac: Seemingly out of the ordinary, but an average December after all.
Even though the temps today in the Northland are around 40°F, Larry Weber observes that the temperatures for the month of December have averaged in the normal range. The latest annual sunrises are occurring this week at 7:34 a.m. Perihelion – when the planet’s elliptical orbit brings it closest to the sun – is coming up on January 2nd. The other day, unfortunately, Larry did not have his camera on hand when he spotted a solar pillar (also called a sun pillar), a phenomenon where ice crystals in the atmosphere reflect the sun’s light in a vertical column. The annual Christmas Bird Count is happening in the Duluth area, and Carlton County’s bird count is starting soon. Larry reports that the Duluth count has reported over 4,000 sightings alone of redpolls!