Posted by: bkivey | 21 June 2011

Summer Solstice

At 0916 local time the Sun will reach its highest point in the sky for the year and Summer will begin. For those of us who live under grey skies 3/4 of the year, this is the time when we can look forward to a few months of sun before the rain comes back in October. I’m surprised any work gets done around here between July and October.

Just for fun I put together some graphs displaying the weather and day cycle at various locations today. The first three locations, Portland, OR, St. Petersburg, FL, and Honolulu, HI, are places I live or have lived. I added two locations in Antarctica (Vostok and Scott-Amundsen) as well as the fartherest North weather station I could find, at Resolute Bay, Canada, for contrast.

The y-axis is 24-hour time. Resolute Bay enjoys 24-hour daylight this time of year whereas the folks in Antarctica are in perpetual night.

Here we have the length of day between sunrise and sunset. In Portland it’s actually light enough to see from before 0500 to after 2130. Winter, of course, is a different story.

The Antarctic locations finally show up, and not in a good way. At those temps it doesn’t matter much whether you use Fahrenheit or Celsius. The expected windchill on the day is -150F for Vostok and -114F for Scott-Amundsen. The temperatures in Resolute Bay look downright balmy by comparison.

The high for 21 June where I live is expected to be 83F, marking only the second time this year that the high has broken 80F. Having spent half my life in the South, I’m complaining not at all.

Enjoy your summer!

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