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Summer solstice brings a return to warmer weather for Calgary

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Thursday marks the official kickoff to summer with the solstice occurring just before 3 p.m. local time.

A solstice – which translates to a “sun pause,” is the date marking the sun’s highest position (June in the northern hemisphere) or the sun’s lowest position (December in the northern hemisphere) in our horizon.

June 20th is the earliest summer solstice in 228 years – due to a combination of math calculations relating to discrepancies between the solar year vs. calendar year and leap year accommodations.

Seasons are actually a function of the Earth’s tilt and not a result of how close our planet is to the sun during our elliptical orbit around the central star.

Earth currently sits on an axial tilt of 23.44°, and the summer solstice occurs when the northern hemisphere is leaning toward the sun – producing the longest day of the year in terms of potential sun exposure.

Around the northern pole the June solstice equates to 24-hours of sunlight, and in Calgary that total is 16-hours and 34-minutes.

Thursday will also resemble a kick-off to summer conditions. A ridge of high pressure situated over southern Alberta will introduce seasonal conditions once again. Daytime highs are expected to remain in the 20s until the end of next week with overnight temperatures between 8 C to 12 C.

Scattered showers are possible throughout central and southern Alberta on Thursday, with severe storms possible in the southeast corner of the province heading into the overnight hours. And Friday is likely to provide more storm energy, meaning warned storms with large-sized hail and strong winds are likely for much of the region – including Calgary.

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