Greatest amount of daylight of the year has arrived

If you read the blog regularly, you know I am obsessed with light, especially morning light. This time of the year is a treasure trove of first light for those of us who are early risers, and it probably feels like nails on a chalkboard if you like to sleep in.

Everyone knows the Earth revolves around the sun, but unless you are on the space station it’s hard to get a sense of just how fast things change from day to day.

When we look back at where we were in December or even as recently as March, you can really get a sense of how rapidly the Earth is moving in its elliptical orbit.

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The sun this time of year is rising over 30 degrees north of due east in the sky and setting about the same magnitude north of due west in the evening. Here’s another way to think of this. In the winter the sun traces a much narrower path across the sky than it does in the summer. This time of the year the sun covers about 70 percent of the sky, in the winter the sun’s path only crosses about 30 percent of the sky.

winter versus summer solstice.jpg

When we reach the summer solstice in less than two weeks, the amount of daylight will have reached its maximum for the year, and the sun will be at its highest point in the sky during solar noon or about 12:43 p.m. (Solar noon is the time of the day the sun is at its maximum height in the sky. It’s not noon because of time zones and daylight saving time).

The loss of daylight starts on June 22 with a decrease of just two seconds, and then the pace increases from there. I start noticing the change in the mornings by the 4th or 5th of July, but most of you won’t notice any change in the afternoon until mid to late July.

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I’ll be updating the forecast here and on Twitter @growingwisdom Please follow me there.

Great vacation weather

The weather over the next five to seven days will bring lots of opportunities to enjoy being outside. The only chances of rain occur Thursday and Saturday, and tomorrow’s chance is quite small. Saturday will bring a better chance of some showers, but it’s not a rainy day.

Eighties will be commonplace today and tomorrow, and while the humidity increases a bit Thursday, it won’t be very uncomfortable, in spite of readings nearing 90 degrees in the afternoon.

Friday brings a blend of clouds and sunshine, and it continues to be warm. Any of the next three days will be great for beachgoers or doing anything outside. Remember, the sun is very intense right now, so protect yourself, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when it’s most intense.

Saturday is a bit of a question. A slow moving frontal system will act as the focal point for clouds and some showers. All indications are for a mostly dry day but with some period of showers. I can’t yet, with confidence, tell you the time of the showers, but it appears to be sometime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Sunday is the pick of the weekend with more in the way of sunshine, lower humidity, and pleasantly warm temperatures.

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