While Memorial Day is often considered the unofficial start of summer, the summer solstice on Sunday, June 20, is widely accepted as the actual start of the season.
And, fittingly, June 20 will also feature the most daylight of the year.
On that day, the earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt − about 23.5 degrees − toward the Sun, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. When this occurs, the sun is overhead directly hitting the earth’s surface, therefore “more light (and more heat) hit each square centimeter of the ground,” according to National Weather Service.
It also marks the start of summer in the northern half of the globe, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.
For Lancaster County and others in the northern hemisphere, June 20 will result in the day with the longest amount of daylight, with just over 15 hours, according to TimeAndDate.com. On that day, the sun will rise at 5:36 a.m. and set at 8:37 p.m.
The term summer solstice comes from the allusion of the sun standing still, according to Mental Floss. Solstice is derived from the Latin root's sol meaning "sun" and stit or stet meaning "standing," according to Merriam-Webster. During the summer solstice, it appears that the sun does not change position for a few hours when peaked due to the longer day.