By Nathan Ham
Summertime is already in the air even if the calendar doesn’t officially say it’s summer yet. The summer season in the United States officially starts at 11:31 p.m. on Sunday night, June 20, with the summer solstice.
Monday will be the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere with sunrise at 6:09 a.m. EST and sunset at 8:47 p.m. EST., a total of 14 hours and 38 minutes of daylight. The changing of the season from spring to summer is marked by the day that the sun reaches its highest and northernmost point in the sky. This day is also when the earth is the farthest from the sun.
Strangely enough, however, even though it is the longest day of the year, it does not have the earliest sunrise of the year or the latest sunset of the year. The week prior to the summer solstice always has the earliest sunrise time. The week after the summer solstice has the latest sunset times. The sun will set at 8:48 p.m. June 26 through June 30.
Outside of the United States, the summer solstice marks the only day of the year when locations inside the Arctic Circle have 24 hours of continuous daylight. Locations inside the Antarctic Circle experience 24 hours of nighttime.
In the Nothern Hemisphere, fall will officially begin on September 22 and winter will begin on December 21.