I can’t believe we are basically half way through the calendar year already! Besides meaning that Christmas is getting closer, it’s time for Astronomical Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The Summer Solstice is Wednesday at 6:09 p.m. CDT. That’s when the sun’s rays will be directly overhead at the northernmost point for the year, 23. 5 degrees north latitude. This is the latitude of the Tropic of Cancer. Around the TV-9 area, the sun angle at mid-day will be about 66 to 70 degrees off the southern horizon at midday. These high rays have plenty of power this time of the year. You of course already know that by how hot the sun feels at this time of the year and how quickly you can get a sunburn. Of course it also coincides with the longest daylight hours of the year for us. We get a good solid 16 hours of daylight now, as opposed to just over 9 hours in early winter.
It will certainly feel summer-like Wednesday with rather warm and humid air overhead. As a cold front slides east across the state, strong to severe thunderstorms may result, especially in the afternoon to early evening in our part of the state. The Storm Prediction Center has a slight risk of severe weather highlighted from central Wisconsin through most of Upper Michigan. This is where the upper level winds will be the strongest to support organized storm development and enhance wind gusts in storms. At this point the tornado threat looks fairly low because the winds will be unidirectional with height. Basically they will be from the southwest from the surface up to 30,000 feet. A more typical wind pattern for tornado development is southeast at the surface to southwest or west aloft. In any case straight-line wind gusts to 60 mph, hail to 1″ diameter, and torrential downpours of 1″ in a half hour all seem plausible. Please monitor TV-9 for the very latest information.