Monday, June 21, 2010

Officially Summer

For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, believe it or not, it is officially summer! Funny that we are still wearing jackets and dodging rain drops. Actually it is not so funny!

On or around June 21 each year, the rays of the sun will be perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer at 23°30' North latitude. This day is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

June 20-21 is start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere but simultaneously the start of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. It's also the longest day of sunlight for places in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day for cities south of the equator.

However, June 20-21 is not the day when the sun rises earliest in the morning nor when it sets latest at night. The date of earliest sunrise or sunset varies from location to location.

Seattle, Washington, experiences a sunrise at 5:11 a.m. and sunset at 9:10 p.m. The earliest sunrise of 5:10 a.m. lasts from June 13-18. The maximum sunset of 9:10 p.m. lasts from June 20 through July 2.

Happy Summer Solstice!

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