We will lose 110+ minutes of daylight this month

Southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon will lose more than 110 minutes of daylight over the next month before Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov. 7.

Right now, we’re losing more than three minutes seconds of light every day. That translates to 113 (Cle Elum), 112 (Ellensburg), 111 (Yakima, Tri-Cities & Walla Walla) or 110 (Hermiston & Pendleton) minutes lost in October.

The sun rose at 7:03 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7 in Pasco. In a month, after the time change at 2 a.m. on Nov. 7, the sun will rise at 6:47 a.m. That’s a 16-minute gain in morning light.

The thing is, you can change the time on the clock, but you can’t make up the ~111 minutes we’re losing over the next month. On November 7, the sun will set in Pasco at 4:33 p.m. compared to 6:24 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7.

Our northern position in the world means we gain and lose a lot of daylight each year. It’s hard to see on a traditional flat map, but we are closer to Anchorage, Alaska, than Houston, Texas. No wonder our daylight, and our climate, share more in common with the former.

Speaking of Houston, heading south makes a big difference in the fall (and winter) sunshine. While the Northwest loses more than 90 minutes of light this month, that’s only 40 around the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is a winter and spring tourist hotspot for a reason.

As for Daylight Saving Time, the “fall back” and “spring forward” are an inconvenience and subject of recent controversy you can read more about below.

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