The longest day of the year. For some folks in Louisiana it's the day before hunting season starts or the day a hurricane makes landfall along our coastline. But those are "feels like" long days but believe it or not there is actually a "longest day of the year".

We should clarify that fact, no there isn't a day that has more than 24 hours. What we are referring to is more commonly known as the first day of summer. In technical terms that would be referred to as the summer solstice. It's the day the northern hemisphere experiences the most daylight in a given 24 hour period.

The days in the northern hemisphere seem longer because they offer more time spent in daylight. The tilt of the Earth on its axis is what creates that effect. It's the reason why there is "midnight sun" north of the Arctic Circle in summer and why that same part of the world sees little to no sunlight during the winter months when the Earths tilt is exposes more of the southern hemisphere to the sun's rays.

### When Is Louisiana's Longest Day of the Year?

June 21st or the first day of summer is how it shows up on most of our calendars but what does that mean? Just how much daylight are we talking about? If you make the assumption that during the spring and fall equinoxes that the time of daylight and nighttime are split into 12 hour increments, just how much more daylight do we see in summer?

Using NASA's Solar Calculator we can determine just how much daylight a given location in the United States will receive on a given day. In this case we've input the coordinates for Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the figure that was returned was 14 hours and 7 minutes on "the longest day of the year".

The length of daylight changes the further north or south you travel. Most cities in the South will see daylight of at least 14 hours on that day. If you travel to Wisconsin, Maine, or Montana you will find the daylight hours to be in excess of 15 hours.

So, while the actual day might not be any longer than any other day of the year the amount of daylight we'll enjoy will certainly be more than we see in December. Let's hope the extra hours of brightness will allow you more time after work for outside fun and enjoyment. Or, if you have to go to bed early to wake up early, let's hope you have some thick curtains on your bedroom windows.

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