Summer solstice: 14 hours, 37 minutes and 17 seconds of daylight

Summer solstice (KTUL)

Although May and June both had a tremendous number of 90-degree days, it wasn’t astronomically summer until this morning at 5:07 a.m. (note - it was meteorological summer June 1).

Today is the longest day of the year (measured in hours of sunlight) due to the tilt of the Earth. Every year between June 20 and June 22, the axis of the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere tilts toward the sun at its largest angle. This results in the sun being directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer, which is also its highest elevation above the Northern Hemisphere. This provides the most sunlight we see all year.

Here in Tulsa we will have 14 hours, 37 minutes and 17 seconds of daylight. The further north a location is the more sunlight they will see. In Northern Alaska they will have 24 hours of sunlight! Tomorrow we will have 1 second less of daylight. Sunrise will gradually become later, and sunset will be earlier. As the weeks go by the amount of daylight we see in a day will begin to decrease more rapidly, and by September we will lose almost 3 minutes of daylight per day.

The Earth will continue to tilt, and by the winter solstice Dec. 21 the sun will have passed the Equator to be over the Tropic of Capricorn. The winter solstice is when the Southern Hemisphere has the most daylight. During the winter solstice the Northern Hemisphere has its least amount of daylight.

So get out there and enjoy the first day of summer - our days will only get shorter from here!

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