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June 21, 2011

Solstice marks the start of winter south of equator


Cape of Good HopeWe often forget about our cousins in the southern hemisphere. There’s more ocean down there, after all, so less land and fewer people. And their seasons are, well, all wrong. For them, today marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the start of another winter.

Cape Town, South Africa, didn't see the sun rise until almost 8 a.m. today, and it sets at 5:45 p.m. At least it’s mild. At just 34 degrees south latitude, the coastal city’s looking for highs this week in the 50s and 60s.  

(PHOTO: Cape of Good Hope, Mary Ann Anderson/MCT)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:00 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition, Sky Notes


On which of the days during the 10 or so surrounding the solstice, do we here around 39 north latitude experience the most daylight? Technically, the day of the solstice is the day of greatest sunlight, but because we're 15-16 degrees north of the Tropic of Cancer, what with sunlight refraction, I seem to remember that it's slightly different for us.

Ummm, trebort49?

That date with the longest period of daylight would be the date of the summer solstice.

Maybe you are thinking of sunrise? Frank reported a few days ago about the date with the earliest sunrise, but also stated that sunset was later and later to more than make up for the cessation of the earlier sunrises. The later and later sunsets cease a few day after the summer solstice, and the daylight hours get shorter and shorter until the Winter Solstice.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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