Friday 21 June... Does that day ring a bell? It should because it’s the summer solstice - the longest day of the year. For many it's synonymous with warm sunshine, barbecues and flip flops.
This week that hasn’t been the case, although it has been warm and humid. That is because of air being drawn up from France, where it has been in the mid 30s, giving us 26.2°C on Wednesday. For many it has been a week of showers, many heavy because of their warm origins. Warm by night too with 16°C proving too muggy for many.
So for some it will come as welcome news that this weekend will turn cooler and less humid. Oh yes, and this change all comes with rain.
What is the summer solstice?
The June solstice is here once again, marking the longest daylight period of the year and the start of the astronomical summer in Earth’s northern hemisphere.
At 4:04am on 21 June, the sun can be seen straight overhead along the Tropic of Cancer, while the North Pole reaches its maximum annual tilt towards the sun. This means that areas within the Arctic Circle see the sun in the sky for 24 hours a day.
Sunrise near Salisbury will be at 4:52am with sunset at 9:26pm, giving 16 hours 33 minutes and 33 seconds of daylight. In Aberdeen, the amount of daylight will be 17 hours 55 minutes and 5 seconds.
What is happening this weekend?
Today we will see sunshine and showers but thankfully not as many or as heavy as in recent days. Then it is all change on Friday night as the Atlantic battles back, successfully pushing a band of rain across the country. It will park an area of low pressure across the North all weekend and this means more change. It pushes away the warm, humid and showery air and replaces it with cooler unsettled weather. Will this never end!
On Saturday we will all see some wet weather, from passing bands of rain through the morning to showers developing later in the day. Watch out in the North West where it will be heavy and thundery. It will be a windy day with gales along the south coast.
On Sunday, spells of rain will give way to showers again. The difference is that the focus will be on eastern Scotland and eastern England. Here the showers will be frequent, heavy and with the odd rumble of thunder possible. Away from here there will be fewer and lighter showers with the best of any sunshine in western areas. Temperatures on both days will remain at a cool 16 or 17 degrees.
Will the summer return next week?
With the start of Wimbledon and Glastonbury next Friday, it can only mean one thing - rain? Wrong, it looks largely dry in the South. The low pressure pulls away and high pressure moves in - but there’s got to be a catch right? Yes, the winds will be coming from the North West, meaning it will be cooler.
In traditional British style, grab the strawberries and an extra layer and enjoy!