The countdown is on. Summer begins here in Northern Ohio on June 20 at 6:34 p.m.
That's the summer solstice. Solstice comes from the latin word Sol, meaning sun and sister, which means to stand still. Its the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun reaches its farthest spot north of the equator...the Tropic of Cancer. This is due to the Earth's tilt of 23.4 degrees on its axis. After the sun "stands still" at the Tropic of Cancer on June 20th, it will begin its journey back south toward the equator... and south of that during the fall and winter months.
The Summer Solstice occurs at the SAME TIME everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. That means, for some folks in Russia, Asia & Europe and it actually occurs just after midnight on June 21st.
Sunrise on June 20th is 5:53 am. And the sun will set at 9:04 pm . The length of day is a whopping 15 hours, 11 minutes and 5 seconds. That's one second LONGER than the length of day on June 21st.
As for the summer season itself, it begins on June 20th and ends on the Fall Equinox on Thursday, September 22nd. That means the summer season is 93.6 days long. Its the LONGEST Season of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. Because the Earth does not move around the sun at the same speed during its 1 year elliptical orbit, the length of each season varies. Spring is 92.8 days long. Fall is 89.8 days long...and Winter is only 89 days long, making it (thankfully) the shortest season of the year!
The Summer Solstice can occur on June 20th, 21st or even June 22nd. Its very rare on that last date in UTC Time. The last time it hit on June 22nd UTC was back in 1975. And it won't occur on the 22nd again until the year 2203!
On the day of the Solstice, the Arctic Circle sees 24 hours of daylight (thanks again to the Earth's tilt on its axis). The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere, where there is 24 hours of darkness!