Why the 2013 summer solstice is unique

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The myth that the Earth is closest to the sun during the summer months and farthest away during the winter months, is actually not true. It turns out, the Earth is closest to the sun in early January. Clearly, the distance is not the reason for the seasons. The answer for why we have seasons is simple: Earth is tilted 23 and-a-half degrees.

The Sun reaches it’s most northerly location in the sky on the summer solstice. the sun is directly overhead if you live along the Tropic of Cancer…you guessed it: exactly 23.5 degrees north latitude!

Here in Northeast Kansas, our summer solstice occurs this Friday at 12:04 am. But this year, there is something different is happening. Summer will officially start on Thursday, June 20 for all places in the country west of Kansas. From Kansas and eastward it starts on Friday. Looking at the clock the season will switch, Thursday at 11:04 pm MDT and 10:04 pm PDT. I guess it’s only fitting that summer starts one calendar day earlier in California!

– Kansas First News Storm Track Meteorologist, Kyle Borchert


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