Welcome back! Summer has begun

Summer began at 12:24 p.m. EST

(WWLP) – While you were sleeping, the summer solstice arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. In other words, happy first day of summer!

Summer begins in late June every year, but not at exactly the same time–this year, the solstice began at 12:24 a.m. Wednesday. The exact time summer begins depends on when the sun reaches its northernmost point away from equator. It also marks the start of winter for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere.

At the beginning of the summer, days are at their longest and nights are at their shortest. As we go through the rest of the summer season and through fall, our days get shorter and the nights get longer until beginning of winter in late December.

Mid-July is typically hottest time of year in western Massachusetts. We’re still a few weeks away from then, but here is a look at the forecast for the first full week of summer: 7 Day Forecast.

Summer officially ends September 22.

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