Summer starts June 21 at 6:07 AM, but we've felt summer heat, humidity, and thunderstorms for weeks already.  That begs the question what makes June 21st at 6:07 AM so special when marking seasons? 

It's the June (or summer) solstice, and it is the longest day of the year.  Louisville will see almost 15 hours of daylight! The North Pole will be most directly pointed at the sun meaning locations north of the equator will have more than 12 hours of sunlight Thursday and the sun will be at its highest angle. 

Image Credit: NASA

The changes you will notice: 

  • early sunrise/late sunset
  • sun looks higher in the sky at its maximum
  • your shadow at the time the sun is highest will be shorter Thursday than any other time of year
  • after June 21 days will start to get shorter
  • the sun sets and rises more slowly around the solstice

Meteorological summer actually started June 1; that's how we keep records of seasonal weather data.  It's funny that the first day of summer is the day we will finally feel relief from the heat and humidity that have plagued us for days. 

-Hannah Strong