LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Today is the first day of summer! The summer solstice will occur at 4:43 p.m. CDT June 20, 2020.
The 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis is what leads to summer and winter seasons. During the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere leans closest to the sun, and the Southern Hemisphere leans farthest from the sun.
The Northern Hemisphere receives more direct sunlight resulting in warmer weather, and the Southern Hemisphere receives less direct sunlight resulting in colder weather. Thus, the Northern and Southern Hemisphere experience opposite seasons.
The summer solstice marks the longest day and shortest night night of the year. In Little Rock, there will be 14 hours and 29 minutes of daylight. Meanwhile, there will be nine hours and 31 minutes of nighttime.
The summer solstice may be the longest day of the year with the most daylight in the Northern Hemisphere, but it is not the hottest day of the year. Why? Due to the lag in seasons, the land and oceans require an extra month or two to warm before the hottest days of summer are felt – typically in July or August.
In the months following the summer solstice, the days will get shorter and nights longer as the Earth continues its orbit around the sun and the sun’s rays slowly shift from directly impacting locations north of the Tropic of Capricorn to the Equator.