Today at 5:44 PM EDT is Summer Solstice. While many people call this the first day of summer. Meteorological Summers started on June 1st and this year we already have had several very warm to hot days.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this marks the longest day of the year and the moment when the Sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, its northernmost point. Here at Grand Rapids the sun rises at 6:03 AM and sets at 9:25 PM and the total time the sun is out is 15 Hours 21 minutes and 20 seconds. The timing of the summer solstice is not based on a specific calendar date or time. It all depends on when the Sun reaches that northernmost point from the equator. The summer solstice can occur anywhere between June 20-22.
The summer solstice is not only the is official start of summer It’s also one of Europe’s most celebrated and spiritual days. In Sweden it is marked by decadent indulgence and rooted in paganism, are some of the most important in this Scandinavian country’s calendar, and which unite Swedes of all ages. Traditional foods such as pickled herring, salmon, and potatoes are enjoyed by flower-wreath-wearing revelers, and maypole and folk dances – such as the Små grodorna – take center stage. It’s even said that if unmarried girls place seven flowers under their pillow on midsummer, they’ll dream of their future husband. In Norway, enormous barrel bonfires are popular. They also light bond fires in Finland. In England Festivities in pre-Christian times focused on fairies, unicorns and other suitably mystical creatures, until Christianity duly stamped these traditions out. Nowadays, certain areas are reviving these processions and plays, while bonfires are still typical in Cornwall and Ireland. Naturally, Stonehenge sees many druids and pagans coming to witness the perfectly aligned sunrise, too. Bonfires and firework displays are popular in Spain.
The Summer Solstice falls on June 20, 21 or 22 with the 21 being the day if falls on the most. Over the years for the 3 days at Grand Rapids here are some weather records.
June 20th the average H/L 81/59. record high 102 in 1953 (that is also the record high for June at Grand Rapids) the coldest maximum 63 in 1917. The warmest minimum 79 in 1953. The record low 41 set in 1970. Last year the H/L was 70/58.
June 21st the most common 1st day of summer the average H/L is 81/60. record high 98 in 1988 the coldest maximum 60 in 1902. The warmest minimum 70 in 2014. The coldest low 40 in 1969. Last year the H/L was 78/55.
June 22 the average H/L stays at 81/60 the record high of 97 was in 1923. The coldest maximum was a cool 56 in 1902. The warmest minimum 73 in 1908 the record low a cold 39 in 1992. Last year the H/L was 78/55.
If one is to believe the new CPC long range guess it looks like above average temperatures for the rest of the summer and into the fall and early winter season. I will hold judgment on that at this time.