When Does Summer Start? The Exact First Day of Summer 2018

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when does summer start
Self

Are you ready?

With the weather constantly fluctuating, it can be difficult to determine when one season ends and another begins. For those of us in the Northeast, it was like this winter had no intention of leaving, making us wondering spring would ever come or if we’d get to experience summer again.

Luckily, we’ve escaped the polar vortex, at least for another year. We’re now anticipating those beautiful summer nights, days at the beach, and those real scorchers spent in the air conditioning.

But when does summer start? When can we officially tell ourselves we’re done with spring and ready to welcome the best season into our lives?


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Believe it or not, summer always “officially” starts between the same three-day period, June 20th to June 22nd, but this year, mark your calendars for June 21st.

And when autumn rolls around, we say goodbye on September 22nd. June 21st is what’s known as the Summer Solstice, when we enjoy longer days and the most daylight of the year, since the sun is at the most northern point in the sky around noontime. The first day of summer is also known as the longest.

But just because it’s the longest, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the hottest. According to the Farmer’s Almanac

“Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans absorb part of the incoming energy from the Sun and store it, releasing it back as heat at various rates. Water is slower to heat (or cool) than air or land. At the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy (highest intensity) from the Sun due to the angle of sunlight and day length.

However, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, due to spring’s temperatures, so the maximum heating effect on air temperature is not felt just yet. Eventually, the land and, especially, oceans will release stored heat from the summer solstice back into the atmosphere. This usually results in the year’s hottest temperatures appearing in late July, August, or later, depending on latitude and other factors. This effect is called seasonal temperature lag.”

Now, unlike other holidays and things marked on your calendar, the summer solstice has no relation to our calendar system.

It’s actually based on when the Sun reaches its most northern point from the equator. The winter solstice is the exact opposite, when the Sun reaches its most southern point.

So on June 21st, which is fast approaching, be sure to whip out your favorite pair of shorts, tank top or short-sleeves, apply your sunscreen, and enjoy the longest day of the year — hopefully full of sunlight and a nice breeze.


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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.

 

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