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Dust off the flip-flops. It's officially summer!

The summer solstice arrived at 4:50 this afternoon, giving us the longest period of daylight of the year and the official start to summer
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Today marks the official start of summer.

Summer has arrived!

The summer solstice arrived at 4:50 this afternoon, giving us the longest period of daylight of the year and the official start to summer.

The Weather Network predicts this will be a hot and humid season with extended periods of dry weather and drought, increasing the risk of wildfires and smoke.

It says the potential for dangerous heat exists, especially in July and August driven by a colossal heat dome, a ridge of high pressure that will dictate the storm track for Canada. North Bay is expected to have below-normal rain with above-normal temperatures.

The summer solstice astronomical event occurs when the Earth's North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun, resulting in the Sun's highest and longest arc across the sky.

On the summer solstice, the sun rises earliest and sets the latest, providing the maximum amount of daylight. This extra sunlight is caused by the Northern Hemisphere being angled towards our star, allowing its rays to strike the region more directly. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice is celebrated as a time of renewal and fertility.

Many ancient cultures, such as the Celts and Pagans, held festivals and rituals to mark this important astronomical event. Today, some still carry on these traditions, gathering at sacred sites like Stonehenge to watch the sunrise in alignment with the monument.

As Bill Steer reports, there is a Stonehenge in northern Ontario.

See: Northern Ontario Stonehenge? Mysterious boulders explored on the back roads


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Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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