The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will occur on June 20 of this year.
Derived from the Latin solstitium – from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop) – the summer solstice is the day there is maximum sunlight in the entire year. Occurring in late June, the summer solstice receives as many as 17 hours of light.
However, the occurrence of the solstice relies on the time when the sun positions itself in the northernmost point of the equator – an event that occurs when the sun doesn’t move any more north at the Tropic of Cancer but starts travelling southwards.
According to Farmer’s Alamanac, the dates of the summer solstice can vary from June 20 to June 22. One of the primary reasons for this is the difference between the Gregorian calendar, constituting of 365 days in the year, and the tropical year, which is the time it takes for the earth to complete one revolution around the sun (365.2422 days).
With an additional leap day that is added to the calendar every four years, the date of the summer solstice is pushed backward. Other factors, one of which is the gravitational pull from the moon and planets, are also responsible for the variance in the date of summer solstice.
As reported by USA Today, on June 20 DC will experience almost 15 hours of sunlight and nine hours of darkness. The solstice marks the astronomical beginning of summer, with the three months of June, July and August considered as the hottest of the year. According to the Climate Prediction Center, United States will experience warmer than average temperatures for the remaining summer.
While we’ll be witnessing the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere will observe the winter solstice.