Seattle gets 16 hours of daylight on summer solstice, longest day of the year

Seattleites will be treated to nearly 16 hours of daylight on June 20, marking this year's summer solstice — the longest day of the year.

The solstice, which happens twice annually, signifies the onset of summer in the Northern Hemisphere with an array of prolonged daylight hours.

For Seattle, that means a day lasting 15 hours, 59 minutes, and 16 seconds, the most prolonged period of daylight in 2024.

When does the sun rise and set in Seattle on the summer solstice?

Seattle's sunrise was at 5:11 a.m. and sunset is at 9:10 p.m.

Seattle will see almost 16 hours of daylight Thursday.

The summer solstice has arrived and so have the late sunsets. (FOX 13 Seattle)

This natural phenomenon provides an extended opportunity for the community to engage in outdoor activities and enjoy the extra hours of sunshine. Although, it can make it tough for those who prefer to go to bed early as twilight lasts until nearly 10 p.m.

The sun will set one minute later for the next week or so, but the sun will begin to rise later as well. That means the days start getting shorter the day after the solstice, losing about 2 seconds of daylight on June 21, then about 5-6 more seconds each day as we head toward the autumnal equinox.

When does summer officially begin?

Astronomical summer officially starts Thursday at 1:50 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) in Seattle.

What is the summer solstice?

Astronomically, the summer solstice occurs when the Earth's axial tilt is closest to the sun, resulting in the longest stretch of daylight for the Northern Hemisphere.

Conversely, the Southern Hemisphere celebrates its winter solstice on this day, coinciding with the shortest day of the year.

What is the history of the solstice?

The summer solstice not only marks a change in the season, but also holds cultural significance, with many civilizations historically celebrating the day through rituals and festivals.

While modern observances might not be as steeped in tradition, many people still acknowledge the day by spending time outdoors or performing yoga, as seen with International Day of Yoga.

What is the summer forecast for Seattle?

June in Seattle has only registered a handful of warmer than average days, but that will change over the next few days as a warmer pattern develops.

A weak system will pass through British Columbia Sunday, bringing more clouds to the Puget Sound area the last week of June. Temperatures will drop into the 60s. Most of the week looks dry with a nice mix of clouds and sunshine and highs in the 70s.


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