WEST MICHIGAN — The first day of summer is almost here. Although it may feel like spring with temperatures that have generally been below average across the area, the summer solstice occurs late Friday morning here across the FOX 17 viewing area. This is the day of the year when we get our greatest amount of daylight in the northern hemisphere, and the sun shines directly over the Tropic of Cancer (at 23.5° N latitude) which gives the strongest mid-day sun angle of the year for the northern hemisphere.
The long-term, 30-year average high and low temperature data for the date — along with sunrise and sunset information — is listed below:
Despite this being the longest day of the year with the highest sun angle, this actually isn’t our warmest day of the year climatologically speaking. That actually occurs in mid to late July. The reason for the slight delay in our hottest temperatures has to do with the fact that air is an insulator, which means the overall atmosphere takes awhile to get to its warmest point. So despite the slowly declining sun angle and slightly shorter days as we head through July, this is usually the warmest month of the year for us. Here’s a look at our climate data for July 21st:
As we continue to head toward the fall equinox, the declining sun angle and shorter days begin to catch up with us, and our daily high and low temperatures tend to decline rapidly by September. Here’s a look at our climate data for the last day of summer this year: September 22nd.
So the bottom line is this: Although the days start getting shorter this weekend and the sun angle starts getting lower, our warmest days are probably yet to come, and there is a lot of summer ahead. Get out and enjoy, and be sure to stay tuned to FOX 17 for further weather updates!