WEST MICHIGAN (June 21, 2014) — Welcome to the first day of summer! It officially arrived Saturday morning at 6:51 A.M.. Why so precise you ask? That’s the exact minute the sun is directly overhead of the imaginary line north of the equator we call the Tropic of Cancer. The sun is as far north as it will ever be…barring some world calamity that throws the earth of its axis and 23.5 degree tilt.
The daylight hours in Grand Rapids, for example, equals 15 hours and 21 minutes. Wow! Compare that to the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice in December) when we barely see eight hours of light. The unfortunate news here? Now we begin losing a little daylight each day as the sun slowly starts to appear lower and lower in the sky. It will be gradual at first (only seconds), then become more dramatic by Fall (minutes per day).
Remember, while we here in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying the start of our summer, those folks in the Southern Hemisphere are beginning their winter. Did you realize the further north you go this time of year the longer the day? In fact, the sun never sets in the Arctic Circle (66 degrees north latitude to the pole). Try falling asleep when the sun never sets!
As an example of longer daylight hours here locally, Ludington sees a 15 hour 29 minute long day. Further south in Kalamazoo, a 15 hour 16 minute day is recorded. So enjoy the summer, it will be over before we know it!
The attached photo was taken from our friend Joe Gee (Muskegon) and his Facebook page of a Lake Michigan sunset. Perhaps anything but typical! Enjoy!
Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.