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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published June 20 2013

Weather Talk: In terms of solar year, it’s middle of summer

At four minutes after midnight last night, Earth passed the point on its orbit at which the sun was lined up directly overhead at solar noon at the Tropic of Cancer. We call this the summer solstice.

In a way, it is odd that we refer to this as the “first day of summer” because in terms of our solar year, this is really more like the middle of summer. For the past six months, days have been growing longer as the nights have been getting shorter. But now and for the next six months, that process is reversed.

In a number of European traditions, the summer solstice is actually referred to as Midsummer, and is a time for celebrating the long days, particularly in Scandinavia and other parts of far northern Europe where


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