Why and When do we have a summer solstice?
Happy summer solstice.The summer solstice is almost coming: On June 21, the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, while the southern hemisphere is away from the sun. That’s why there is summer and the longest day in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.
During the summer solstice the north polar end of its axis leans at the maximum angle 23.5 degrees toward the sun. And sun’s rays strikes directly on the Tropic of Cancer.
As there is summer in the north of equator in the same time there is winter in the south of equator because at this time the earth is tilted away from the sun, so this condition in the southern hemisphere is known as the winter solstice.
Date and Time of Summer Solstice
In Pakistan we have the Summer Solstice on Friday 21st June 2019.
According to meteorological point of view summer season starts on June 1st in the northern hemisphere.
But in USA and many other countries of northern hemisphere 21st June the Summer solstice marks the beginning and the first day of the summer season. In fact the beginning of the summer season depends on the climate of the countries.
Solstice in History or Culture
Orbit or movement of the sun is an astronomical phenomena, but if we look into history we came to know that different cultures gave this day a special importance, midsummer holidays and religious holidays on this day.
Ancient people knew the sun’s movement across the sky. One of the important evidence of the importance of the summer solstice can be seen in England where they built monuments such as the Stonehenge, to follow the sun’s progress across the sky during the summer solstice.
Signs of the Summer Solstice
The signs of summer solstice can be feel everywhere in the northern hemisphere. If you are living in the northern hemisphere you will see the early dawns and late sunset. You will also see the high up sun across the sky at noon. Also see you noon shadow, during the summer solstice your shadow at noon time will be the shortest.
Another very important sign of the summer solstice is having the 15 hours day and 9 hours night in the northern hemisphere and consequently the longest day. The same time and day is the shortest day in the Southern hemisphere.
Effects of the Summer Solstice
As there is summer season on its peak during summer solstice. The heat of summer season warm up the oceans, melts snow and ice of glaciers and there is the runoff from glaciers.
Due to the heating effect of summer solstice a lot of convectional rainfall occurs because of the pressure difference in these areas.
The effects of summer solstice in some of the developing countries like Pakistan are very adverse as they have limited resources to protect themselves from heat and the surface runoff created due to the heavy rainfalls.
Due to heavy rainfalls they experience flood as they have not built dams to store water. That is why there are a lot of loss of lives and property in these countries.
Lastly, I want to wish you again, the happy summer solstice 🙂