GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Summer officially begins at 5:13 a.m. on Tuesday and it is going to be hot.
A heat dome has been building across the central plains and will surge into West Michigan for Tuesday before returning again Friday.
These heat domes are created when the jet stream forms a giant ridge, allowing the heat to surge quite far to the north.
Highs soared to near 100° in parts of Minnesota with temperatures as warm as the upper 90s at the very northern tip of the Upper Peninsula in Houghton! This dome of heat will center itself over Michigan on Tuesday pumping our highs to the mid 90s. Humidity won’t be as difficult as last week, but will still make it feel like 100° for much of West Michigan.
SUMMER BEGINS TUESDAY
While most in America celebrate Memorial Day as the unofficial start to summer, the astronomical start to summer is on the solstice. Tuesday at 5:13 a.m. astronomical summer will officially begin.
The reason we see such huge temperature differences between our winter season and our summer season in West Michigan is all because of the tilt of the earth.
This tilt allows the northern hemisphere to lean closer to the sun during June, July and August. The summer season in the Southern Hemisphere occurs in December, January and February when the southern hemisphere is tilted closer to the sun!
People that live near the equator frequently don’t see much of a change in daylight length during the year because of the 23.5° tilt. Meanwhile the summer solstice on the north and south poles feature a full 24 hours of daylight! The sun never sets on these days.
Due to our northerly latitude, West Michigan sees more than 15 hours of daylight from sunrise to sunset, and almost 16.5 hours of daylight if we include civil twilight, the time frame where there is a glow on the horizon.
Daylight will begin to decline starting Wednesday at an exceptionally slow rate. We see the shortest daylight losses and gains during the summer and winter solstice. The most extreme day-to-day drop in daylight occurs in the spring and fall.
July is typically our hottest month as we experience a seasonal delay. Expect more hot weather to build in this week with more 90s on deck Friday.