“Then followed that beautiful season…Summer…””
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Next week summer will officially arrive. Summer Solstice is at 4:29 a.m. Monday morning, June 21. Solstice is derived from the Latin words meaning “sun” plus “standstill”. At this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere the sun is highest in the sky. This is due to the Earth’s axis tipping the north part of the Earth closest to the sun. What does this mean for us? This celestial event brings with it 14.5 hours of sunlight and an increase of solar radiation. So pour a tall glass of iced tea and apply that sunscreen.
Here in the foothills it is not uncommon for the daytime temperatures to reach the century mark and over. But then comes our reward as the day comes to an end. There is nothing better than long summer evenings … warm breezes, night blooming jasmine, chirping crickets and the silhouette of the mountains against the indigo night sky.
The beginning of this week started on the cool side with fog in the mornings, but Tuesday’s high temperature reached 92 degrees. Lows have been in the upper 50s. As the week progresses it should cool down again. For the upcoming week, daytime highs should not exceed 80 degrees. This fluctuation in temperature is common this time of year, until the high pressure system becomes better established over the west.
Awed by the power of the sun, civilizations for centuries have celebrated the first day of summer. At Stonehenge in England both ancient and modern day peoples consider the Summer Solstice as the day of “the wedding of heaven and earth”. Something to ponder as we wake up Monday morning!
Sue Kilpatrick is a longtime CV resident and amateur weather watcher. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.