In the winter the days are short and the Sun in low in the sky. The graphic above shows the Sun's path through the sky on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. This is the day when the Sun is the lowest in the northern sky.
During the short winter days the Sun does not rise exactly in the east, but instead rises just north of east and it sets north of west.
Each day after the winter solstice, which occurs on June 21st, the Sun's path becomes a little higher in the southern sky. The Sun also begins to rise closer to the east and set closer to the west until we reach the day when it rises exactly east and sets exactly west. This day is called the equinox. In the spring we have the Spring Equinox about September 21st. There is also a Fall Equinox on March 21st. Click here to learn more about the spring and fall equinox.