Winter Solstice arrives today

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NBC News (NBC) - It's December 21 - that means winter is here and it will be the shortest day of the year.

Winter solstice arrives 11:28 a.m.

With one major snowfall last week and more on the way, the weather could also cause problems for holiday travel.

There's snow forecast in many states.
Annelise Appleseth of California said, "We're excited about snow."

But some states, including Oregon, already have snow.

Travis Schloosher of Oregon says, "It's beautiful man we got up there and it started dumping powder on us and had a great day of skiing."

The Lake Tahoe region in California is welcoming winter with wide open arms.

Brooke Bentley, the owner of the La Galleria gift shop is hoping for more of the white stuff.
"Definitely need snow. Praying for snow."

She added, "We are seeing a lot more traffic. A lot of people are rolling into town. People are excited for this upcoming storm. Hopefully, we'll get a nice amount of snow on the mountains."

North Dakota also got an early start with the snow. Slick roads there have caused two semis to crash, sending one person to the hospital.

In Montana, a truck driver lost control on an icy interstate, drove through a guardrail, and landed in a residential area. There were no serious injuries in that accident.

Forecasters say more than half-a-foot of snow could be seen in northern New England, the northern great lakes and the northern plains before the end of the week.

Frigid temps are also expected in parts of the south next week.

This blast of winter weather comes during what's projected to be the busiest holiday travel season ever.

AAA predicts more than 107-million people are heading somewhere between now and the end of the year. But not everyone is willing to take on icy conditions.

"Like I won't even drive with chains. If they put a chain law up, I'll just pull over and I'm done until they lift it," said Frank Pitts a California resident.

The winter solstice is marked by the point at which the North Pole is at its farthest from the sun during its yearly orbit around the sun. It will be approximately 23 degrees away from the sun. Despite the temperature outside, the winter solstice is considered the astronomical beginning of winter. Meteorological winter begins December 1 and lasts until the end of February and is marked by the coldest average temperatures during the year.

It is also National Humbug Day, National Flashlight Day, and National Re-gifting Day!