December 21st at 5:11 PM (EST), the tilt of the earth's axis reaches the farthest away from the sun (for the northern hemisphere) and the point of least solar radiation for the year. This is called the winter solsitce and marks the begining of winter. It is also the shortest day of the year. Sunrise today comes at 8:01 AM and sunset occurs at 5:06 PM, giving us just 9 hours and 5 minutes of sunlight in Ann Arbor. After this point, the days get longer and the weather, eventually, starts to warm up. From this point, we can start looking forward to spring and a new golf season.
Things here at the golf courses have slowed down. The golf course in winter is something a lot of golfers don't see, but skiers, sledders and people out for a walk still utilize the land. Here is a picture of #3 tee at Leslie I took the other day near sunset (which means it was about 4:30 in the afternoon.) Notice the cross country ski tracks in the foreground.
The highest temperature recorded at Leslie Park during the month of November was 63.5 degrees on the 17th. The lowest temperature was 13.5 degrees (24th.) The average temperature was 37.8. Although the calender says the winter doesn't start until late December, the temperatures feel like it has started already. There were 5 days were the maximum temperature never reached above the freezing mark. Eighteen days had low temperatures below 32 degrees.
The total rain for the month was 1.83 inches. That brings the total for the year to 28.86 inches. The largest rain event was when the golf course received 0.73 inches on the 17th. Just five days saw more than a tenth of an inch and 8 days had more than a trace of rain.
The highest sustained windspeed was 43 mph on the 17th. (If you haven't been paying attention, the 17th was warm, rainy and windy. The average windspeed for the day was 11.6 mph. Looking at daily records for almost 3 years, you rarely see an average windspeed for a day that is above 5, yet alone into double digits.) That high wind speed is the highest ever recorded at the weather station at the golf course. It beat the 42 mph set back in November of 2011. Average windspeed for the month was 4.3 mph.