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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published September 17 2013

Weather Talk: Starting today, sun angle to stay below 45 degrees

Fargo-Moorhead is located near 47 degrees north latitude. This means we are a bit closer to the North Pole than the equator.

One of the consequences of our geographical location is that for a majority of the year, the sun angle never gets above 45 degrees off the southern horizon. So even at solar noon, the shadows are longer than the objects projecting them.

On the autumnal equinox, coming up in a few days, the sun’s direct rays will be over the equator, meaning that the highest the sun will get in Fargo that day will be 43 degrees at solar noon.

Yet, because the sun is already situated just 1 degree north of the equator, the maximum sun angle at solar noon today will be just 44 degrees. So, starting today and lasting until March 25, the sun angle will stay below 45 degrees. I guess we could call today the beginning of the long shadow season.

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