Sunset in Paris

Sunset in Paris

I keep a weather widget on my google home page that shows both Berkeley and Paris. The forecast is for rain in both places today and it was downright cold this morning in Paris. Not Chicago cold, of course, but the predicted low in Berkeley is about 10 degrees F more than the predicted high in Paris. And its getting noticeably darker here.

Paris is significantly further north than Berkeley.  At more than 48° North, Paris is nearly as far north as Vancouver. Berkeley’s European counterpart, at 38° North, is Athens. So it’s going to seem dark to us this winter. A quick comparison: On September 25th Berkeley and Paris shared the same length of day–just about 12 hours exactly. Since then, we’ve been losing daylight at a rate of more than 3.5 minutes per day, while back in Berkeley it’s less than 2.5 minutes daily.  While that might not seem like much it does add up–by the time we reach Jack’s birthday we’ll have 1 hour and 15 minutes less between sunrise and sunset (the rates change over time so the math isn’t simple).

The angle of the sun in the sky makes a big difference too, especially in Paris where the buildings are taller and block the sun from reaching the ground in many places. Today, for example, the highest the sun will get in Paris is 37 degrees, while in Berkeley it will be close to 49 degrees. By December 21 that will be 17.8° and 28.7° respectively–I think we’ll need to find a big open space if we want some direct sunlight. Oh well.

Of course all of this gets paid back in full during the summer when we’ll enjoy 16 hour days with the sun setting at 10pm (compared to that pathetic 8:30 setting sun in Berkeley). But for now, those of you reading this from Berkeley, enjoy the sunlight (if it’s not raining!).

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