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'Twas a dark and stormy day: Tuesday was gloomiest Seattle day in past three years

A dark and gloomy Seattle skyine on Dec. 11, 2018 (Photo courtesy: Space Needle Web Camera)

SEATTLE -- Sunset isn't until 4:17 p.m. these days, but pardon us if it fell like it took the rest of the day off after lunch.

Tuesday was the darkest day of at least the past two years, by measure of solar energy output received at the University of Washington's Atmospheric Sciences building. The gauge measured just 0.54 mJ/m^2, according to UW research meteorologist Mark Albright.

That was just a touch darker than Sunday's ultra gloomy gray day at 0.55. Last year, our darkest day was 0.69 set on Dec. 18, and it's the darkest day since Dec. 8, 2015 at 0.56.

Blame ultra-thick clouds to blot out the sun during this week's stormy weather, plus we're at the lowest sun angle of the year as we approach the Winter Solstice.

The dark day had my Twitter feed buzzing:

"I almost thought there was an eclipse today, it was so dark," Tweeted Bryce Stowe. (Actually, it was probably slightly darker than the partial eclipse output we had last summer during the total eclipse.)

"Wasn't just imagining it then!" Tweeted @RedmondRidgeEWx. "Told a coworker it was 'blacker than the inside of a cow' all day out my office window near Paine Field."

"The sunset seemed to go away at 3 in the afternoon," added Sharon Sloan.

"Put this on a billboard in California, please," tweeted @erich333.

The dreary day certainly didn't help those who need brighter days for fuel. But believe it or not there are some of out there (myself included) who relish in a gray, gloomy day.

"No wonder I thought today was so beautiful. Like, I love it..." tweeted @PacificNormWest.

"So cozy," added @fiona37132368.

But believe it or not, it's been even darker. Dec. 14, 2006 holds the "record" for at least the 21st Century for darkest day measured at UW at a paltry 0.39. If that date sounds familiar, that's because it would become the great Hanukkah Eve Windstorm that night.

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