Sunday, June 21, 2020

Saturday was the solstice, the official start of summer

Doyle Rice
,USA TODAY•June 20, 2020

Summer is here at last.

The summer solstice – the exact moment when the sun is at its highest point in the sky each year – is at 5:44 p.m. EDT June 20. This marks the beginning of astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

In reality, in many parts of the country, it's felt like summer for at least three weeks, which is why meteorologists call summer the hottest three months of the year (June, July and August).

But the real heat is still to come: On average, there is a one-month lag between the solstice and peak summer temperatures, according to climatologist Brian Brettschneider. That's why July is almost always the hottest month of the year in most locations.

And it's likely to be a hot one: The Climate Prediction Center's latest forecast through August is for warmer-than-average temperatures for most of the U.S.


And while Saturday is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, it's the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, as folks down there are bundling up for winter.

The reason we have solstices, equinoxes and seasons is because the Earth is tilted on its axis, thanks to a random collision with another object untold billions of years ago.

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