Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Longest day of the year means summer is officially here

Longest day of the year means summer is officially here

The Festival celebrates the longest weekend of the year, in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Good morning. Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and typically the monsoon season kicks off around this day.

Meanwhile, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation from 2:00 pm to 9:00 p. on Tuesday, June 20, and Wednesday, June 21.

It is predicted to occur at exactly 12:24 a.m. ET on June 21.

But before you recite this tale, it's important to get a bonfire started. We spend six months watching the amount of daylight increase and when it finally arrives and we turn the corner toward less light, the kids are still in school and July 4 is still two weeks away. The Norse paraded on the solstice day and night, walking around villages with torches in hand to symbolize the sun, while wearing crowns of flowers on their heads. The southern hemisphere celebrates the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year - on the day the northern hemisphere celebrates the summer solstice. However, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, due to spring's temperatures, so the maximum heating effect on air temperature is not felt just yet. By the January 4, 2018 Perihelion, Earth will be 3 million miles closer to the sun, and then the cycle starts all over again.

Why does the solstice occur?

To accurately calculate the time the sun is visible above the horizon (day length), you must to take into account the atmospheric distortion, or the bending of sunlight through the atmosphere.

For many around the world, it means celebration.

The word "solstice", (Wednesday is the summer solstice) is taken from Latin, sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

For ancient Greeks, the solstice was the start of the new year and began the monthlong countdown to the Olympics. Well, this summer solstice did get a number of parties going full steam, but at least no one was pushed off pyramids like the Mayans did.

Notice there is no sunrise or sunset in the northern most reaches of the planet this time of year.

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