THE days are longer, the evenings are lighter and the weather is showing signs of brightening up in the UK. Summer is here – so what are those all important dates you need to look out for?
When does summer start in the UK?
There are a couple of ways of calculating when the season starts, depending on whether you mean the astronomical summer and the meteorological summer. The meteorological summer is defined as June, July and August, so always begins on Thursday, June 1. This year the astronomical summer starts on Wednesday, June 21, on a day which is known as the summer solstice.
Around this time we will enjoy the most daylight of the calendar year, as the sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at noon, local time. Summer will sadly come to an end on September 22.
How is the first day of summer decided?
The seasons occur as the Earth’s axis is on a tilt from the sun, so different parts of the world receive more solar energy than others. They can be calculated using both astronomic or meteorological methods. The astronomical seasons are based on the Earth’s journey around the sun, with the four quarters of the orbit determining our four seasons.The meteorological seasons are based on splitting the calendar up into four chunks of three months each. Loosely the seasons are defined as Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), Autumn (September, October, November) and Winter (December, January, February).
What is the summer solstice?
The summer solstice is the “longest” day of the year and marks the start of the summer period. This is because the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most aligned with the sun, providing us with the most daylight of the year. After June 21, the nights will begin to close in as our planet rotates away from the sun. The date where Earth is the furthest from the star is marked by the winter solstice.
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