Dare we say it – apart from the occasional cold snap, the worst of the dark depths of winter now seems largely behind us, with lighter and brighter spring days here to stay for now.
While the weather in the UK has the propensity to do whatever it likes, one thing is sure – summer is firmly on the horizon.
With the clocks going forward soon and the spring equinox now in the rear-view mirror – if you can practically smell the barbeques and feel the sand between your toes, you aren’t alone.
Summer 2023 will herald the return of holidays, festivals, and all manner of events that many families look forward to all year round.
But when does summer start and how far are we from the longest day of the year?
Here is what you need to know.
When does summer start in 2023?
From an astronomical point of view, summer 2023 will officially begin on Wednesday, June 21 and last until Saturday, September 23.
Summer 2024 will begin on Thursday, June 20, and end on Sunday, September 22, with summer 2025 beginning on Saturday, June 21, 2025, and ending on Monday, September 22.
However, for Meteorologists (weather forecasters), that isn’t strictly true.
The Met Office say: ‘The meteorological seasons consist of splitting the seasons into four periods made up of three months each.’
‘These seasons are split to coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for meteorological observing and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics.’
This means the meteorological start to the summer will be June 1 and is fixed each year, with the summer months being June, July, and August.
When is the longest day of the year?
As well as being the start of summer, June 21 is also the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice.
Solstices and equinoxes mark the key stages in the astronomical cycle of the Earth and, as such, aren’t fixed.
There are two equinoxes – spring and autumn, and two solstices – summer and winter.
The summer solstice often invites many superstitions and traditional pagan ceremonies, including gatherings at Stonehenge.
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