Ever since I was a kid growing up in Utica, winter weather always arrived before the start of the winter season. And, such has been the case this year. So, set your watches for the "Winter Soltice" and the official arrival of winter for Sunday, December 21st. Here's what happens.

According to "The Old Farmer's Almanac":

"In 2014, winter begins on December 21, 6:03 P.M. EST

The Winter Solstice

Winter inspires both joy and woe. Some people can't wait for the cooler weather, snow, skiing and ice skating, curling up by a fire, and the holiday spirit. Other people dislike the frigid temperatures, blizzards, and wild weather.

The word solstice comes from the Latin words for "sun" and "to stand still.” In the Northern Hemisphere, as summer advances to winter, the points on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets advance southward each day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day. At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The Sun is directly overhead at "high-noon" on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.

Winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year."