MSP Possible Sunshine Minutes

Winter solstice arrived at 5:03 PM 12/21/2014.

Questions have been asked about the possible sunshine minutes and the NWS has an answer for all those curious about the annual solar cycle here in the Upper Midwest. For starters, we have just lost about 7 hours of possible daylight since the summer solstice. And we will gain back those 7 hours by the June summer solstice. Here are some tables showing the possible minutes per day.


Here is a table listing the possible gain or loss per day per month.


The following isolates the December and June solstice transition when we switch back and forth from gain to loss. The left four columns are the month of June loss/gain sunrise and loss/gain sunset possible minutes. The right four columns are the month of December data. When you look at December 17th you will see we gained 1 possbile minute at sunset, but we also lost 1 possible minute at sunrise, for a zero sum total in the daily total sunshine count.


Finally we present two charts showing different ways to account for the possible sunshine minutes. The upper chart shows the month by month total possible gain and total possible loss. The lower chart shows the total monthly minutes of sun possible to be recieved in Minneapolis / St Paul MN (MSP). The total values differ very little from MSP to St Cloud MN (STC), or Eau Claire WI (EAU). In fact, the numbers and charts are nearly identical for all three sites.


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