Daryl Ritchison, Published February 17 2013
Weather Talk: Sun’s angle above horizon to reach 31 degrees todaySolar noon is designated as the time of day when the sun reaches its highest point off the horizon.
Because of our location within the Central time zone, solar noon never occurs right at 12 p.m., but instead varies by approximately 15 minutes on either side of 12:30 p.m. Today, for example, solar noon will occur at 12:42 p.m.
On the winter solstice, the sun was only at 19 degrees above the horizon at solar noon, but today it will reach 31 degrees. Those 12 degrees of increased sun angle are very noticeable on a sunny day. For instance, if you park your car outside, you may notice how much warmer your car’s interior is as you head out for lunch. Also, even on bitterly cold days, on many of the black-topped road surfaces the ice and snow will be melting. If you own a home, the pitch of your roof already increases the sun angle dramatically, and with the additional strength of the sun this time of year, ice dams can be a big problem.
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