Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Sun, Something's Begun...

It seems we've been experiencing "summer-like" weather for weeks now, but alas, you can finally stop saying "summer-like" and just call it "summer!" That's because two minutes ago at 7:28 a.m, the northern hemisphere officially entered into the summer solstice – and the longest day of the year – okay, maybe not the longest but you do have more daylight today than any other day of the year!

During the summer solstice, the sun angle reaches it's highest point on the horizon as it hovers above the tropic of cancer located at about 23.5 degrees north.

Much like The Northeast Quadrant reported on the vernal (spring) equinox, throughout history, man has marked the onset of summer in different ways:
  • The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light
  • The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing around bonfires to help increase the sun's energy
  • The Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth", resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June
  • The English celebrate the day at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice
As for me and many others, we'll be celebrating summer by vacationing, heading the beach, lying out in the sun, enjoying the outdoors, playing sports, and most importantly, tracking hurricanes!

So in conclusion, stay cool, enjoy today and enjoy summer! Starting tomorrow through the first day of Winter on December 21, there will be a gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. But that doesn't mean it'll get cooler
– climatologically, the hottest part of the year is yet to come... we'll look towards the last week of July/first week of August for that!