Summer officially begins at 7:09 p.m. (EDT) today, the date of the summer solstice and the day with the longest sunlight exposure in 2012.
In the Northeast and other parts of the United States where temperatures are near broiling, that's not necessarily welcome news. But outdoor types down deep are happy to see daylight hours stretched to the max. More light means more time to explore, more things to see.
Interesting articles from The Washington Post and National Geographic offer fun facts to know and tell about the longest day of the year. The Arctic Circle, for instance, will receive 24 uninterrupted hours of sunlight today; Stockholm, Sweden, will collect nearly 22 hours.
In the United States, the chart below shows how long the sun will shine today in 25 randomly chosen cities where REI operates stores:
|City||Daylight, June 20||Local Sunset|
|Anchorage, Alaska||19h 21m 35s||11:42 p.m.|
|Seattle||15h 59m 21s||9:11 p.m.|
|Portland, Ore.||15h 41m 16s||9:03 p.m.|
|Bloomington, Minn.||15h 36m 54s||9:03 p.m.|
|Boise, Idaho||15h 26m 21s||9:30 p.m.|
|Madison, Wisc.||15h 22m 22s||8:40 p.m.|
|Boston||15h 17m 06s||8:24 p.m.|
|Ann Arbor, Mich.||15h 16m 28s||9:15 p.m.|
|West Hartford, Conn.||15h 12m 55s||8:29 p.m.|
|New York City||15h 08m 39s||8:32 p.m.|
|Salt Lake City||15h 06m 04s||9:02 p.m.|
|Pittsburgh||15h 03m 50s||8:54 p.m.|
|Denver||14h 59m 19s||8:31 p.m.|
|Reno, Nev.||14h 57m 50s||8:30 p.m.|
|St. Louis||14h 52m 26s||8:29 p.m.|
|San Francisco||14h 46m 53s||8:35 p.m.|
|Richmond, Va.||14h 45m 28s||8:34 p.m.|
|Las Vegas||14h 37m 15s||8:01 p.m.|
|Greensboro, N.C.||14h 36m 44s||8:39 p.m.|
|Santa Barbara, Calif.||14h 27m 34s||8:14 p.m.|
|Atlanta||14h 24m 01s||8:51 p.m.|
|Chula Vista, Calif.||14h 17m 57s||7:59 p.m.|
|Tucson||14h 15m 52s||7:34 p.m.|
|Austin, Tex.||14h 06m 07s||8:36 p.m.|
|Houston||14h 03m 33s||8:25 p.m.|
How do you typically like to take advantage of summer's longer days?
Photos © REI 2012 (Damon Parrish)