Sunday was the last day in a series of days that featured the most daylight the region would see all year and today we will see that number start to decrease!
The summer solstice occurred last Friday, June 22nd and that was the last time the sun was perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer. It was also the day in which we experienced the longest duration of daylight with a total of 14 hours 54 minutes. If fact we had a six day stretch of extended daylight. But today, things start to change. No you are not going to notice it right away – but in the DC metro region today we will experience only14 hours and 53 minutes of daylight.
Now that we have peaked on our daylight I thought it would be good to look forward to our shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, when the hours of illumination will be cut back a whopping 5 hours and 27 minutes! This translates to a loss of nearly 60% of our light over the span of about 6 months. That means only a measly 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight light can be expected on the 21st of December. So it is gradual and hopefully easier to tolerate.
Now before you start to complain, keep in mind our friends in the upper northern most latitudes of Alaska. Located at the very top of the state, Barrow has a two-month winter period in which the sun doesn't rise at all! The sun is down for a whopping 67 days from November 18 to January 23. On the flip side the sun is up for 85 days for 24 hours straight from May 10 to August 2.
- courtesy alaskatravel.com
Quite a contrast and it must wreak havoc on their sleeping schedule. As an early to bed and very early to rise guy, I can say I look forward to earlier darkness! :)