June 21 2018

Today marks the start of summer. At 6:07 AM, the direct rays of the sun shine on the Tropic of Cancer, that farthest north of the year. Yes, the North Pole is bathed in 24 hours of sunlight and we have our longest day of the year. Daylight that is! The day is still 24 hours long for any wise-guys that want to clarify that statement. In Baltimore:

Sunrise: 5:40 AM

Sunset 8:36 PM

*Daylight = 1 second longer than yesterday


  1. The daylight will get shorter for the rest of the season. That does make sense when we say this is the longest daylight of the year. The change each day is merely seconds however for a few weeks. Each day with gradually have less and less daylight, growing to a 1 minute change or longer from July 8 to July 9. On that day, sunrise will be 5:45 AM and sunset will be 8:35 PM
  2. The sun angle at 8:16 AM of 27.3º will be the same has high noon on the winter solstice. We have another 10 hours of higher sun angle on this day, which will peak at 74.2º around 1 PM today. That is 46.9º higher than December 21. Lap on the sunscreen, even through cloud cover you can get a burn.
  3. Sunset will actually be later, at 8:37 PM for nearly a week, as the days lose light on the morning end. It’s a weird shift, but as Earth orbits around the sun on the shorter end of the eclipse (not a circle), that is how the adjustment translates.
  4. Aphelion is on July 6. At 12:47 PM, Earth will be at it’s farther from the sun all year.  Ironic, huh? Yes, our planet is about 3 million miles farther from the sun in summer than in winter.
  5. Temperature Lag: The hottest temperatures of the year are actually 3 weeks after the summer solstice. As the sun angle gets lower, and the daylight grows shorter, we are still getting more energy than we lose to space at night. The net result is an average high temperature is 85ºF today, but we average 88ºF between July 9 and July 17.
  6. Today marks astronomical summer, a three month period between the summer solstice and the fall or autumn, equinox. But meteorological summer began on June 1. Meteorological seasons are three complete months ending at the end of August

Video: What is A Solstice?




Shine On

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