First Alert Weather In-Depth: Sunshine for the solstice

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – You know the most important piece of equipment this time of the year is the sunglasses. We love the sun and it is the amount of sunshine that makes such a difference for most of us.

On the calendar, sunrise is at 5:30 AM and sunset is not until 8:53 PM. And it is really is amazing when you look at it from the yearly perspective. In terms of hours of daylight, this time of the year is right at the top of the curve. So when you compare the summer solstice to the winter solstice we are receiving an additional 6 hours and 24 minutes of possible daylight.

A different perspective shows the angle of the sun above the horizon this time of the year. It is now at 70 degrees above the horizon. But as the season progresses the fall season starts on September 22nd and the sun angle is starting to drop. Unfortunately this trend continues until December 21st when, for the first day of winter, we only see 8 hours and 59 minutes of possible daylight. Considering that we usually see a lot of cloud cover that time of the year – it is really not all that much sunshine for a given day.

If you look at from an astronomical perspective the sun is now located at the northernmost portion of the northern hemisphere. That is the imaginary line called the tropic of cancer. So tomorrow we are going to throw a party for the official start of the summer solstice arriving Tuesday at 5:14 AM.

Just make sure you bring your sunglasses!