Why winter sunsets are best

january weather sunrise sunset gloucestershire severn river
The sunset over Beachley, Gloucestershire. Credit: ITV News

Sunsets are simply mesmerising and it doesn’t matter how many times we see the sun dip behind a familiar horizon it is hard not to just gaze at it, and winter is arguably the best time of year to see them.

Of course, that’s subjective to one’s personal opinion, but there’s no denying our purest sunsets happen during our colder months and here’s why.

Warm air is able to hold more moisture, or water if you like, than cold air.

Sunset over Edinburgh castle. Credit: PA

The extra water in the air attracts pollution to it making larger particles in the atmosphere.

These particles refract and split up the light from the sun and make the sunset appear fuzzier.

In winter the air is drier, so there are less particles, this makes the sunset appear sharper and more vibrant.

There is also another factor involved.

Our cold air in winter often originates from the Arctic where there are notably fewer cities and trees to produce pollution or pollen particles, so this also helps the sunset to be sharper and more vibrant. 

This week there’s certainly been no exceptions. The combination of settled conditions across much of the UK and a cold snap have produced some pretty sunsets.

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