“Then followed that beautiful season … the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
And the landscape
Lay as if new-created in all the freshness of childhood.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”
Temperatures above 100 degrees on several occasions these past weeks could only mean one thing – summer’s arrival! Sunday, June 21 is not only Father’s Day, but also the Summer Solstice arrives at 9:39 a.m. The Earth’s North Pole is tilted most toward the sun on this day placing the sun at its highest point resulting in the longest amount of daylight. In contrast, at the Winter Solstice there are 4.33 fewer hours of daylight!
Last week’s Weather in the Foothills promised further writings on the upcoming El Niño but I decided summer will get the spotlight for now. So summer it shall be. Forecasts of fall and winter rains will need to be
The word “summer” conjures up a myriad of feelings ranging from beyond wonderful to downright miserable. Here are a few (and maybe unknown) facts of the Summer Solstice:
• Stonehenge, the most recognizable solstice icon, was built close to 3500 years ago.
• The term solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because the sun’s relative position at noon appears unchanged during and around the solstice.
• In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice coincided with the flooding of the Nile River. Being an agrarian culture, the waters were a time of celebration. Soon calendars documented the time as their new year.
• The Earth is farthest from the sun during the summer. The warmth of summer comes exclusively from the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and not from how close it is to the sun at any given time.
• Ironically, on the summer solstice in 1633, Galileo recanted his declaration; the Earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. Science reigned on that day!
• In 1902, Moses Cotsworth, a British RR employee, tried to standardize the calendar into four-week segments by adding an extra month between June and July. Being at the time of the solstice, it was named Sol. Good idea, but…
Our summer arrives with extreme heat continuing into next week. Saturday is peak heat day with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. Thankfully, night will be cool. Dry, hot and gusty conditions bring elevated fire danger.
Watch those barbecues and Happy Father’s Day!
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.