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Summer Is Here

As of Monday June 20th at 6:34 pm the Summer solstice has begun! What is the summer solstice, and why does it fall on June 20th? This week on DecksDirect's blog, we go into more detail about the official start of Summer!

This year the Summer Solstice was Monday June 20th at 6:34 pm, for the northern hemisphere. The solstice is determined by when the sun reaches its northernmost point of the equator. This makes June 20th the day with the most sunlight compared to the Winter Solstice (December 21st 2016) where you have the least amount of sunlight. The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitum. Sol (meaning sun) and Stitium (meaning to stop) combined to mean that the sun appears to be stopped at this time. During this time we notice that the sun is higher in the sky throughout the day and that the suns UV rays are striking the earth at a more direct angle, causing the heat we feel during the summer months. This would be a great time to get UV Plus stain from Messmer's!

Why doesn't the Summer Solstice fall on the same day every year? Depending on the year, the Summer Solstice can be from June 20th-22nd. This is because of the difference between the Gregorian calendar that we use which has 365 days in a year, and the tropical year which is how long the earth takes to orbit the sun one time (roughly 365.24 days). 'Leap Day' comes into play every 4 years which jumps the date for Summer backwards. There are other factors as to why the dates change as well, like gravitational pull.

Here are some Solstice Facts:

  • There are two solstices each year: The Summer Solstice (6/20/2016) and the Winter Solstice (12/21/2016)
  • The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, The Winter Solstice is the shortest.
  • The 2016 Summer Solstice coincided with the strawberry moon: First time since 1967 and last time until 2062.
  • For the Northern Hemisphere the Summer Solstice is in June for the Southern Hemisphere it is in December.