Summer Solstice 2023: The First Day of Summer

"Everything You Should Know About the Longest Day of the Year Summer begins with the solstice on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 marking the astronomical first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. What exactly IS the solstice? Is it really the longest day of the year? Welcome the solstice with some interesting facts and folklore. The June Solstice In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice (aka summer solstice) occurs when the Sun travels along its northernmost path in the sky. This marks the astronomical start of summer in the northern half of the globe. (In the Southern Hemisphere, it's the opposite: the June solstice marks the astronomical start of winter when the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky.) When is the Summer Solstice? The June solstice occurs on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 9:58 A.M. CDT. This solstice marks the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt (about 23.5 degrees) toward the Sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year. (By longest "day," we mean the longest period of sunlight hours.) On the day of the June solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at the most direct angle of the year. In the Southern Hemisphere, the June solstice marks the beginning of winter."

See more from the Farmers Almanac HERE:

Noctilucent clouds: The season starts now!

"Noctilucent cloud season has begun! Normally, in late May or June, people at higher latitudes on the globe begin reporting these ethereal, electric-blue clouds after nightfall. The first batch of reports began this year on June 4, 2023. See the first night-shining clouds of the season below. What are noctilucent clouds? Noctilucent clouds, or night-shining clouds, are thin clouds high up in Earth's atmosphere – the mesosphere – as much as 50 miles (80 km) above Earth's surface. Scientists think they're made of ice crystals that form on fine dust particles from meteors. They can only form when temperatures are incredibly low and when there's water available to form ice crystals. So, why do these clouds – which require such cold temperatures – form in the summer? It's because of the dynamics of the atmosphere. In fact, you actually get the coldest temperatures of the year near the poles in summer at that height in the mesosphere."

See more from HERE:

Fire Danger Map

Thanks to several days of hot and extremely dry weather, the fire danger across parts of the state are High to Very High, which includes the Twin Cities. Very High fire danger includes the Northeastern Tip of the state, where fire restrictions are in place, meaning no open fires or campfires.

Drought Update

It has been an extremely dry stretch of weather across much of the station over the last several weeks. Only a few locations have seen decent pockets of rain, but the drought is expanding and getting worse. Severe drought conditions have popped up across parts of central Minnesota with moderate drought now in place across parts of the Twin Cities.

60 Day Precipitation Anomaly

The map below shows the 60 day precipitation anomaly, which indicates that some locations are nearly -3.00" to nearly -5.00" below average (in red) since mid May. This is where drought conditions are expanding.

2nd Driest May 1st - June 20th on Record at MSP

There has only been 1.72" of rain at the MSP Airport since May 1st, which is the 2nd driest May 1st - June 20th on record. The driest such stretch was back in 1910, when only 1.47" of rain fell.

Simulated Radar Through Midday Thursday

Here's the weather outlook through midday Thursday, which shows dry conditions continuing closer to home. However, showers and storms will start moving into western Minnesota as we approach the end of the week. This is most definitely a welcomed sight! More widespread showers and storms will move in as we approaching the upcoming weekend, some of which could be strong to severe with locally heavy rainfall.

Extended Precipitation Outlook

The extended rainfall outlook through next weekend shows pockets of heavier rainfall moving back into the region late in the week and into next weekend. Some of the heaviest amounts could approaching 1" to 2" across the northern half of the state.

Severe Threat on Saturday

According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, there is a risk of strong to severe thunderstorms, mainly across the southwestern part of the state. I expect the risk area to change up a big as the weekend approaches, so stay tuned.

Twin Cities Weather Outlook For Wednesday

The weather outlook for the Twin Cities on Wednesday, June 21st shows hot and dry weather in place once again with highs approaching 90F, which will be well above average.

Meteograms For Minneapolis

The hourly temps through the day Wednesday shows temps starting in the mid/upper 60s in the morning with highs warming to near 90F by the afternoon. It'll be another dry and hot sunny days with southeasterly winds around 15mph through the day.

Weather Outlook For Wednesday

Temps across the region on Wednesday will warm into the 80s and 90s, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average for this time of the year. Temps across the Dakotas will be a little cooler because of widespread showers and thunderstorms possible.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

Temperatures for the Twin Cities will continue to remain well above average with readings closing in on the 90F, which will be nearly +10F above average. It'll be a little cooler on Sunday with more widespread shower and thunderstorm chances.

Stickier Dewpoints Linger Early This Week

Dewpoints will get increasingly more sticky as we slide through the rest of the week and weekend ahead with readings in the 60s. This increasing in humidity will also bring a better chance of showers and storms to the region.

Extended Weather Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended weather outlook for the Twin Cities will be pretty hot this week with several days reaching the low/mid 90s. Later next week and into the weekend could feature a better chance of showers and thunderstorms. Stay tuned...

Extended Temperature Outlook

The NBM extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis shows hot temps through the end of the week with readings in the lower 90s. It'll get a little cooler over the weekend with a better chance of showers and storms. Sunday could be quite a bit cooler with readings below 80F. The end of the month could see temps consistently in the 80s.

Weather Outlook

Weather conditions in the Midwest will turn a little more unsettled as we approach the weekend with widely scattered showers and storms, some of which could be strong with locally heavy rainfall.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14-day temperature outlook shows warmer-than-average temperatures settling in across much of the Central US, including the Midwest. The warmest weather settles in across the Southern US.

8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 Day precipitation outlook shows more active weather possible across the northern tier of the nation including the Midwest. Drier weather will continue across the southern and southwestern US.

Watching The Tropics

Bret continues in the Atlantic basin and is drifting west toward the Caribbean. By late Thursday night into early Friday morning, Bret will impact the Leeward Islands with gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

Tracking the Tropics

Tropical Storm Bret will continue to drift west as we head through the week. The latest forecast has Bret staying at Tropical Storm status as it drifts into the Caribbean through the week and into the weekend.

A June Weather Map Like No Other?
By Paul Douglas

The weather map is upside-down these days. Severe weather is ravaging the Gulf coast, instead of the northern tier states in mid-June. Storms have stalled over the eastern US, while historic fires rage across Canada. And Tropical Storm Bret may form in the mid-Atlantic any day now. The tropics resemble September, not June.

Symptoms of El Nino? Yes. But unlike any warm phase of the Pacific I've ever witnessed. A Super El Nino may be brewing, comparable to 1998 and 1982, but experts are seeing jaw dropping oceanic warmth in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. Very, very weird.

Parts of Texas have been experiencing suffocating, 120-degree heat indices and we'll get a small taste of an early season heatwave this week, with a streak of days at or just above 90F.

Heavy snow temporarily replaced soil moisture but we are rapidly drying out again; nearly 20% of Minnesota is in moderate drought. I'm cheering on potential showers and T-storms late Saturday into Sunday, while trying not to get my hopes too high.

Extended Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Steamy sun, feels like July. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 92.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: SE 5-10. Low: 69.

THURSDAY: Sticky sun, feels like upper 90s. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 70. High 91.

FRIDAY: Murky sun, T-storms far north. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 72. High 92.

SATURDAY: Steamy sun, late T-storms? Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 72. High: 91.

SUNDAY: More numerous showers, T-storms. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 70. High: 83.

MONDAY: Passing shower, turning cooler. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up. 66. High: 78.

TUESDAY: Hot, hazy sunshine. Winds: SE 10-15. High 91.

This Day in Weather History

June 21st

1989: Fairmont has a wind gust of 76 mph during a severe thunderstorm.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

June 21st

Average High: 81F (Record: 95F set in 1910)

Average Low: 62F (Record: 439F set in 1992)

Record Rainfall: 2.95" set in 2002

Record Snowfall: NONE

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

June 21st

Sunrise: 5:26am

Sunset: 9:02pm

Hours of Daylight: ~15 hours & 36 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: +1 Seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 6 hour & 50 minutes

Moon Phase for June 21st at Midnight

4.0 Days Before First Moon

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National High Temps on Wednesday

Temperatures on Wednesday will return to well above average levels across much the of Central US and especially across the Southern US, where record heat will be possible. Meanwhile, folks on the West Coast and the Mid-Atlantic States will be cooler than average.

National Weather Wednesday

The weather outlook on Wednesday will still be unsettled across the Southern US, where strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible. Strong to severe storms will also be possible across the Plains with areas of heavy rain.

National Weather Outlook

The weather outlook through Thursday shows unsettled weather continuing across the Southeastern US, where a few strong to severe storms can't be ruled out. There will also be additional strong storms across the Plains with locally heavy rain over the next few days.

Extended Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center, the extended precipitation outlook shows heavier precipitation across the East Coast and also across the High Plains and Midwest. Localized flooding can't be ruled out in some of these areas.

Climate Stories

"Amid Power Outages, Florida and Gulf States Brace for More Hazardous Weather"

"The Gulf and Southeast are in for some intense weather today. Counties across Alabama and Texas have been lashed by storms this week and nearby Georgia has seen multiple tornado warnings, USA Today reported. This week's storms have shut off power, and have dropped torrential rain across multiple states, and it's looking like that region is in for another round this afternoon. "A few storms throughout the central and eastern Gulf Coast may also be capable of containing damaging wind gusts, large hail, and a few tornadoes today," an alert from the National Weather Service (NWS) said. "The active weather will not conclude tonight as another round of intense thunderstorms are possible on Friday, while extending farther Northwest into the Lower Mississippi Valley as well."

See more from Gizmodo HERE:

"El Niño Is Here and It's Taking the Heat for the Death of 300 Wild Birds in Mexico"

"El Niño is here and bringing record temperatures this June. As of this month, the global shift has officially arrived and is "expected to gradually strengthen into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24," according to a recent announcement from NOAA. There have been several signs of El Niño's development this year. Global temperatures have risen this June at alarming rates noticed by scientists, the Guardian reported. The global temperatures recorded so far this month have been higher than average compared to average air temperatures. And more alarmingly, the higher temperatures are also affecting wildlife. According to Reuters, Mexican officials recently announced that the death of hundreds of wild birds in several states along the Pacific Coast was likely caused by El Niño conditions. About 300 wild birds were found dead throughout multiple states including Chiapas, Michoacan, and Guerrero. At first, Mexican authorities thought that avian flu was to blame for the mass deaths. Many of the birds specifically died of starvation, the Associated Press reported. When the ocean is hotter, many species of fish leave shallow waters for deeper, colder waters. This makes it harder for the birds to find enough food."

See more from Gizmodo HERE:

"Space-based solar power is having its moment in the sun"

Beaming electricity down to Earth from solar panels in space has been a clean energy dream for decades. Even though the technology still has a long way to go before it can keep the lights on at home, there's more hype than ever that space-based solar power stations could actually work. A major milestone was announced this month when researchers at Caltech said that a prototype launched into space was able to beam a small amount of power to Earth. It was an important first for the nascent technology, and other researchers around the world are racing to make similar progress with funding from governments trying to reach their climate goals.

See more from The Verge HERE:

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