Today the sun rises at 6:06 and sets at 9:23 (in Otsego). In Lansing sunrise is at 6:00 and sunset is at 9:20. Daylight length is 15 hours and 19 minutes. We have lost a whole 8 seconds of daylight since the 21st. The loss of daylight is slow as we move into July becoming more apparent as we get towards the end of the month on into August. By July 30th we are down to 14 hours and 30 minutes of daylight.
On July 4th the Earth is furthest from the sun and January 5th the Earth is closest to the sun. The angle of tilt defines our seasons, not the distance from the sun.
A solstice happens when the sun’s zenith is at its furthest point from the equator. On the June solstice, it reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.4 degrees. It’s also known as the northern solstice because it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere.
We typically have our warmest days towards mid to late July due to the temperature lag in daytime heating. The lakes, oceans and even soil moisture effects how warm it will get. In July, terrestrial radiation (outgoing radiation from Earth), is still reaching its peak based on the large heat capacity of the oceans and to a lesser extent land masses. This added terrestrial radiation allows air temperature to continue to rise even though energy from the sun is decreasing. With all the rain we have been receiving and lack of sun air temperatures have remained lower than normal.
We have had around 45% of sunshine this month and 36% in May. Lake Michigan water temperatures are averaging around 50°. Beach temperatures from Holland to Chicago are averaging around 60°. This is 10° below normal for this time of year.
We have some showers moving into the area at 4am this morning – this is a prelude to an active pattern for today and tomorrow. Heavy rain is possible along with some storms mainly after 6pm as the airmass moving in is humid and temps will rise into the low 80s dependent on how much sun we get today. Tonight will be warm and humid with temps dropping only into the mid to upper 60s. Areas that saw flooding on Thursday (including Kalamazoo/Allegan toward Lansing) are most prone to flooding again where any heavy downpours occur.
The good news is that we will have a string of sunny days with no rain expected and summer conditions beginning Tuesday with temps in the 80s.
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