(WKBN) – Most people know that the official start date of summer is sometime around June 20-22, but do you know the date changes and why there is an official start time?
When does summer begin and why?
The official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere is when the Earth reaches its maximum tilt of 23.5 degrees towards the sun. The exact time the maximum tilt occurs varies between June 20-22. This is due to the fact that a year on Earth is approximately 365.25 days a year and thus a leap year must be added, which affects the official start date of summer.
When the Earth reaches its maximum tilt toward the sun, the sun is directly overhead the 23.5-degree north latitude line, which is also known as the Tropic of Cancer. This first day of summer is also the time when northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania receive the most intense solar radiation of the year. However, the hottest temperatures of the year are often a few weeks after the Solstice.
Why is this? Read about the relationship between the Summer Solstice and the hottest temperatures of the year below.
Official summer start time: The Earth reached its maximum tilt toward the sun at 5:13 a.m. Tuesday marking the official start of summer.
What is the longest day of the year
The summer solstice also marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Youngstown, the sun will rise at 5:50 a.m. and will set at 8:58 p.m., which brings the total daytime to 15 hours and 8 minutes.
The length of day will begin to decrease starting Wednesday and will decrease until the Winter Solstice on December 21. In fact, the amount of daylight lost between June 21 and December 21 amounts to 5 hours and 55 minutes.
June 21: 15 hours and 8 minutes of daylight
September 21: 12 hours and 12 minutes of daylight
December 21: 9 hours and 13 minutes of daylight
You can plan out your longest day of the year using the Youngstown seven-day forecast.
Earth’s axis tilt and seasons
The tilt of Earth’s axis is what gives our planet the seasons, not the distance of Earth from the sun. In fact, counterintuitively, the Earth is at Aphelion (farthest point from the sun) during the Northern Hemisphere summer and is at Perihelion (closest point to the sun) during the winter.
Summer Solstice: The Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun at an angle of 23.5 degrees (This is the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere)
Fall/Spring Equinoxes The tilt of the Earth is neither toward nor away from the sun
Winter Solstice: The Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun at an angle of 23.5 degrees (This is the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere)