The winter solstice marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere.  This year (2011), the winter solstice occurs on December 21, at 11:30 pm CST.  The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.  After the winter solstice, the days grow longer (amount of daylight increases) and the nights shorten (amount of darkness decreases).  

The outlook for the winter months (January, February, March) calls for equal chances for above, below or normal temperatures in Nebraska, and a trend toward above normal temperatures in Kansas.  The precipitation outlook calls for equal chances of above, below or normal precipitation in Nebraska, with a trend toward below normal precipitation in western Kansas. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.