Don’t despair, the days are already getting longer in Denmark

The shortest day of the year has come and gone, and Denmark is heading towards brighter times.

Don't despair, the days are already getting longer in Denmark
The night sky at Herslev Havn near Roskilde. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

This year, the winter solstice fell early on Sunday morning, which means that from now on the days are getting longer and nights shorter.

The winter solstice falls when the Earth tilts the furthest away from the Sun on its axis. In the Northern Hemisphere this usually happens around December 21st-23rd every year.

Denmark’s dark winters aren’t as severe as in Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Norway, which both experience polar nights – when the sun doesn't rise at all for several weeks.

The long hours of darkness can still be felt in Denmark, however.

For example, in northern city Aalborg the sun will set at 3:40pm on Monday December 23rd and rise at 8:38am on Christmas Eve. Six months ago on Midsummer's Eve, it rose at 4:25am and set at 10:19pm. These times will come again.

Although the winter solstice marks the start of the change towards longer days, it will take a while to feel any effect.

The dark feeling of the last couple of months is likely to be carried into this year’s Christmas weather in Denmark, meanwhile.

“It will be a grey Christmas this year overall,” meteorologist Bolette Brødsgaard of the Danish Meteorological Institute told Ritzau.

“Christmas Eve will have a cloudy theme, and unfortunately also some rain now and then, so remember your umbrella,” Brødsgaard added.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day in Denmark will be a little drier with some chance of sunshine, so Christmas walks could be a more pleasant affair on these days.

READ ALSO: How to navigate Danish holiday traffic over the Christmas break

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How much will it snow in Denmark this weekend?

Winter weather arrived in spectacular fashion to coincide with the beginning of December this week. The weekend could bring more snow to parts of the country but probably less disruption than recent days.

Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December.
Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Recent snowstorms disrupted North Jutland in particular and Denmark in general, and more cold weather can be expected this weekend albeit severe, according to forecasts.

“We won’t see the Ragnarok-like weather we’ve seen in some places recently again this weekend, but it’s now winter weather and it has also snowed in several places overnight,” said meteorologist Frank Nielsen of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Early December blizzards disrupt Denmark

Cold weather on Friday and a low front across the North Sea will bring clouds and precipitation across Denmark from the west, Nielsen said.

That will materialise as cold rain or sleet in many areas but probably snow in North Jutland, he said.

“There could be between five and ten centimetres of snow north of the Limfjord,” the meteorologist said, referring to the waterway that cuts across the northern part of Jutland, including main regional city Aalborg.

“In the southern part of the country, an equivalent five to ten centimetres of rain could fall,” he added.

Friday’s temperature will be between freezing point and five degrees Celsius, with the north of the country falling in to the lower end of that range and the south the warmer end.

Mist and fog is forecast this evening, caused by various weather fronts moving over Denmark.

That could still be felt on Saturday morning, though it is likely to be a little warmer at 2-6 degrees Celsius. Mild winds could make that fell chiller, but snow is unlikely.

Sunday will see the temperature drop again, to 0-4 degrees Celsisu. Snow is possible, particularly on eastern coasts.

Strong winds in the east of the country and along the coasts will result in a “rather cold 24 hours,” Nielsen said.

Nighttime temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout the weekend. Motorists are therefore warned to be alert to icy road surfaces.