“Once upon a Summer Day,
Birds chirped in a musical way,
Grass drenched in morning dew,
The sky covered in a vast color of blue.”
~ Joseph T. Renaldi
When is the first day of summer for 2013? Most will agree, including scientists, in North America, the summer solstice begins on June 21, 2013 at 1:03 a.m. EDT. My wall calendar even proclaimed this as fact. Go to your desk and get out the white-out and marker, for there are corrections to be made. If your calendar was made someplace on the West Coast, you may be okay. Don’t count on it, though. It seems California was clumped together with all the other states.
After the wagon trains made their way west in the 1800s, time zones were created to standardize time. Stage coaches, the Pony Express and trains needed to arrive as scheduled. Take notice above, summer arrives at 1:04 a.m. EDT – Eastern Daylight Time. But way out here in the west, summer arrives at 10:04 p.m. A three hour difference is just enough to change the day of the solstice to June 20, and not June 21. So in the still of the night, we welcome in the new season of summer.
Summer weather slowly replaces winter weather. Spring is a time of “anything and everything is possible” and also transitions from one season into the next. Within a relatively short time (a few days), the temperatures may reach 100 degrees and then drop as a cold front moves in bringing snow to our local mountains. By the end of June, this seasonal interplay is over. Nights may remain cool and early morning fog may linger for short while. Enjoy for the heat will soon be the dominate weather feature.
We are ready at our house. The pool is a perfect algae-free 82 degrees and Abby has hung up her winter coat (i.e. been to the groomer for a summer fur-cut).
As a major celestial event, the summer solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Awed by the power of the sun, civilizations for centuries have celebrated the first day of summer.
The Celts and Slavs danced around bonfires to help increase the sun’s energy.
The Chinese honored Li, the goddess of light.
The Druids of the British Isles considered the day as the “wedding of Heaven and Earth.”
The day is still celebrated around the world, notably in England at Stonehenge where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the summer solstice.
The foothills will welcome the event with a chorus of crickets and a yipping coyote or two. Starry clear skies, breezy conditions and temperatures in the 60s will accompany.
An onshore flow and cooling trend is expected into the weekend. By next week the temperatures will be on the rise. Being summer now, I think the hot weather is acceptable.
Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta Valley
resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.