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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published June 19 2012

Weather Talk: Summer solstice arrives in Northern Hemisphere

Today marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. At 6:09 p.m. CDT, the sun’s direct rays will be located over the Tropic of Cancer, which is approximately at 23.5 degrees north latitude. If you were standing at that point at solar noon (which is rarely 12 p.m.), you would not cast a shadow as the sun would be directly overhead.

The only location in the United States where you could observe this phenomenon during the year would be in Hawaii, as all the main islands are south of 23.5 degrees. Key West, Fla., comes close, but that location is at approximately 24.5 degrees north, so although you would cast only a tiny shadow, the sun would be at 89 degrees above the horizon today, not quite the 90 degrees necessary to be directly overhead at solar noon.

In Fargo-Moorhead, the sun will reach 66.5 degrees above the horizon today, the highest of the year. This is in stark contrast to the winter solstice in December, when the sun will peak at only 19.5 degrees.


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