Minnesotans are at the height of non-winter days now – literally. Tuesday is the longest day of the year, with about 4 extra seconds compared to Monday, the National Weather Service says.
Then the summer solstice hits at 11:24 p.m. central time ... and every day from then on out, for the next six months, will get shorter and shorter.
The summer solstice marks the official astronomical start of summer in the northern hemisphere, the Old Farmer's Almanac explains. It has nothing to do with weather or temperature. It's all based on where the Earth is in orbit around the sun, and how much daylight/night that gives us.
So at 11:24 p.m. Tuesday, the sun "reaches its far northern extent at 23.44 degrees" the Weather Service says. Here's a visual from the NWS, that shows how our tilted axis, coupled with our orbit around the sun, affects daylight hours. (Or watch this old Bill Nye clip.)
On Tuesday, the sun in St. Paul rose at 5:25 a.m. and sets at 9:02 p.m., according to timeanddate.com. That's about 15 hours and 36 minutes of daylight, the Almanac says. Wednesday will be less than 1 second shorter, timeanddate,com says, then Thursday is about 4 seconds shorter, Friday we have another 5 seconds off, and it just continues.
Those two times get closer and closer together until Dec. 21 – the winter solstice. In St. Paul that day, the sun will rise at 7:47 a.m., and set at 4:34 p.m., for a whopping 8 hours and 46 minutes of day.
Now go be a Debbie Downer and tell all your friends to bum them out.