Washington, D.C. at dawn on October 9 (Christopher Skillman via Flickr)

At 2 a.m. Sunday, November 3, daylight saving time ends, we set our clocks back an hour, and enter standard time.

The upshot of the time change is an extra hour of sleep on Sunday and sunny awakenings in the months ahead, while many lament darkness arriving one hour earlier in the evening.

Sunday’s sunrise falls back to 6:38 a.m. (compared to 7:37 a.m. Saturday), delighting early risers no longer working through their morning routines in the pitch black.

Link: Catch a partial solar eclipse Sunday at sunrise

On the flip side, sunset moves up to 5:05 p.m. (compared to 6:06 p.m. Saturday), putting the kibosh on many evening recreational opportunities.

Capital Weather Gang’s Justin Grieser summarized the pros and cons of daylight saving time in a post in 2011:

Daylight saving time has been controversial for as long as it has existed. Opponents say that the clock change does not save energy, disrupts sleep schedules, and poses other health risks. Cities in the western edges of time zones have to contend with dark mornings for most of the year, creating potential safety hazards for early commuters and schoolchildren. Supporters, on the other hand, argue that more evening daylight not only saves energy, but also boosts tourism and the economy.

Link: A rant about the end of daylight saving (Wasatch Weather Weenies)

The Fairfax County Emergency Information blog reminds us the start of standard time is a good time to change the batteries in smoke alarms and check emergency supply kits.

Dark days ahead

The onset of standard time closely coincides with the onset of “solar winter” or the three darkest months of the year – from early November to early January.

“During this three-month period, the Northern Hemisphere receives the least amount of solar energy and more than half of the hemisphere is in darkness at any one time,” wrote CWG’s Justin Grieser in a post last year.

In Washington, D.C. – for a large chunk of solar winter – sunset occurs prior to 5 p.m. – from November 9  to January 4.

Past write-ups on the end of daylight saving time, including history and reactions

Daylight saving time ends November 4 as Northern Hemisphere enters darkest quarter of the year (2012)

Daylight saving time ends this Sunday: get out and enjoy the sun an hour earlier (2011)

Note, to counter any confusion: It’s daylight saving (singular) time, not daylight savings (plural) time