Posted: Jun 20, 2014 12:38 PM by Meteorologist Robert Gauthreaux
Updated: Jun 20, 2014 12:38 PM
It's summertime! Well, not yet. At 5:51 a.m. Saturday morning it will officially be summertime. A few months ago we discussed the vernal equinox. During the equinox there is equal day and night for everyone. However, the summer solstice occurs on Saturday. This is the longest day of the year for the northern hemisphere and the shortest day for the southern hemisphere (where it is becoming winter).
Essentially, our planet is tilted toward the sun. The northern hemisphere is exposed to more sunlight than the southern hemisphere during this time of year, so we experience a warm summer while they experience a cool winter. After Saturday, the earth will be tilting away from the sun again, and fall will begin after the autumnal equinox, where both hemispheres will have equal day and night again.
Here in Baton Rouge, we will have about 14 hours and seven minutes of daylight on Saturday. If you've looked at a globe recently, you may have noticed the equator, but have you noticed the Tropic of Capricorn or Tropic of Cancer? They also go around the globe, with the Tropic of Cancer north of the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn south of the equator. On Saturday, the sun will be directly above the Tropic of Cancer at 5:51 a.m., and then the earth will begin tilting back toward the Tropic of Capricorn. We live north of the Tropic of Cancer which is why we never actually experience a true "high noon". The sun is never directly above us, thus we always cast a shadow. Those who live between the two lines, experience at least two true "high noons" a year.