The summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (north of the equator). This is the longest day of the year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky. The word solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac the timing of the solstice depends on when the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator. This occurs annually on June 20 or June 21 in North America, depending on your time zone.
- Question: Why isn’t the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, also the hottest day of the year?
- Answer: The reason why July and August are generally hotter than June, the month containing the summer solstice, is that it takes a while for Earth to heat up. There is a lag time between sunlight being produced and it actually hitting Earth. Earth’s surface and atmosphere continue to receive energy from the Sun, even though the minutes of daylight are decreasing, and average temperatures will continue to rise until the Sun’s position in relation to Earth lowers and sunlight is hitting Earth less directly. That’s why we are all holed up in our air-conditioned living rooms in late July rather than June.
Celebrate the month of June! With graduations, proms, picnics, parties, weddings and family gatherings, this month offers a multitude of healthy opportunities to celebrate joyfully and creatively.