***Video above: Weather forecast for Thursday evening***

CLEVELAND (WJW) – The earliest sunsets of the year will be within the next few nights, so when will it start heading the other direction?

As we round out the week, sunset times will fall around 4:56 p.m.

Starting Dec. 12, our sunset time will be later and later, with 5 p.m. sunsets returning on Dec. 21.

The earliest sunset of the year normally happens before the winter solstice because of the Earth’s path.

When the Earth makes its elliptical orbit around the sun, it’ll move faster in its orbit in January than it would the summer months.

When the sun’s path is charted on a day-to-day basis, it looks like a figure eight, also known as an analemma.

The winter solstice is also known for being the “shortest day” of the year with nine hours and 10 min of daylight.

While our sunsets will continue to get later and later, so will our sunrises, at least until the second week of January.