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Seattle’s “season of light” coming to an end for 2016

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From David Thomas Tacoma WA

SEATTLE– The bright reddish glow lingers until around 10pm behind the jagged silhouetted peaks of the Olympic mountains in picturesque form. For the Pacific Northwest, this is our season of light. Every year for about 40 days, Seattle has sunsets that are after 9pm. These long days straddle the summer solstice which happens annually in late June.

Our varying sunset and sunrises times happen because the Earth tilts 23.5 degrees as it goes around the sun through the course of a year. In the summer, the northern hemisphere faces the sun which gives us longer days and warmer temperatures. At 47 degrees north, Seattle is pretty far north seeing some long days near summer solstice. Of course, some places in Alaska see daylight for nearly 24 hours during this time of year.  Here around Puget Sound our days are about 15.5 hours near summer solstice. That’s about 7.5 hours longer than the what we see around winter solstice when the goes down around here around 4:15pm.

This season of light around the Emerald City comes to a close soon. This coming Monday (July 18th), specifically. On this day we’ll have a sunset time of 9:00 pm. We’ll lose about a minute of daylight every day for the next few weeks and then about 4 minutes per day as we get closer to the fall equinox in September. This doesn’t mean summer is over, in fact our warmest days around Puget Sound are typically at the end of July and early August. The next time we’ll see a sunset after 9pm wont be until June 1st, 2017.