The summer solstice arrives Friday and brings an annual peak of nearly 15 hours of sunshine in Baltimore.
The "length" of the day, as measured by hours of daylight, is actually 14 hours, 56 minutes and 19 seconds. Thursday's daylight hours last virtually as long, with the solstice arriving at precisely 1:04 a.m. Friday.
Starting Saturday, the time the sun appears in our skies shrinks by a few seconds each day. The difference amounts to about 3 minutes by the end of the month, but accelerates to be an hour less by early August.
The length of daylight dips below 12 hours -- making it less than half the day -- on Sept. 26.
But even though the sunlight will start to wane, the hottest months of the year are still ahead. As EarthSky.org explains:
"It’s the same reason it’s hotter in mid-afternoon than at noontime. Earth just takes a while to warm up after a long winter. Even in June, ice and snow still blanket the ground in some places. The sun has to melt the ice – and warm the oceans – and then we feel the most sweltering summer heat."