WEST MICHIGAN — It's that time of the year again ... West Michigan is dwindling in daylight hours. The time between sunrise and sunset is slowly but surely shrinking. West Michigan begins losing daylight hours immediately after the summer solstice. The summer solstice is when we have the most daylight hours, equaling 15 hours and 21 minutes in West Michigan.
Why are we losing daylight hours? It's all due to the tilt of the earth. There are two times during the year when the earth is tilted either away or towards the sun. During the summer solstice, the tilt of the earth's axis towards the sun is at the maximum. It provides the most daylight hours. During the winter solstice, the earth's tilt away from the sun is at the maximum.
The natural, gradual tilt of the earth's axis away from the sun is what provides dwindling daylight hours.
As of October 3rd, West Michigan has lost 3 hours and 44 minutes of daylight since the longest day of the year. We will continue to diminish in daylight hours until the winter solstice on December 21st.