AUSTIN (KXAN) — The winter solstice may mark the shortest day of the year, but the latest sunrises and earliest sunsets of the year don’t line up and fall on December 21st.

The earliest sunsets of the year (5:30 p.m.) happened in early December, but the latest sunrises of meteorological winter are here now.

January 4-15, the sun doesn’t rise until 7:28 a.m., which is our latest sunrise of Standard Time.

By January 16, the sun rises a minute earlier at 7:27 a.m. and by the end of the month sunrise is at 7:22 a.m.

Sunrise times in Austin
Sunrise times in Austin

It does get darker than this in the morning, however, as we begin Daylight Saving Time and “spring forward” our sunrise shifts as late as 7:44 a.m. on March 12 (meteorological spring), but rapidly gets earlier as our amount of daylight increases at almost 2 minutes per day.

Dark mornings: What to watch for

When the mornings are darker for longer, there are some things to remember

  • Turn your headlights on so you can be seen and you can see others
  • Keep eyes peeled for children walking, biking to school or waiting for the bus
  • Wear lighter colors or reflective clothes so you or your child can be seen more easily
  • Don’t forget the sunglasses as the sun comes up, it may be hard to see if you’re facing the rising sun when driving
Things to remember when sunrise is late
Things to remember when sunrise is late