As always, summer begins with the solstice on the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For 2021 that’s Sunday, June 20, at 11:32 p.m. EDT.
Solstice comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) because the angle of the sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator appears to stand still. This is most noticeable at the Arctic Circle where the sun hangs on the horizon for 24 hours, which sparked the term “Land of the Midnight Sun.”
Want to watch the Summer Solstice Live from Stonehenge? English Heritage is livestreaming it for free on Facebook at sunset 3:41 p.m. EDT to 5:11 p.m. EDT [90 minutes] then sunrise at 11:07 p.m. EDT to 12:37 a.m. EDT [also 90 minutes]. Plus at least 30 minutes before and after AND they will be saving it as video on their Facebook page for viewing at your leisure.
The summer season typically features the usual gamut of weather – storms, flooding, tornadoes and in the more southerly portions of these United States: It’s hurricane season, from June 1 to Nov. 30.
From the National Weather Service: Severe weather in the United States causes numerous deaths and injuries and billions of dollars of damage. In a typical year, more than 1,200 tornadoes occur throughout the United States and nearly 12,000 reports of wind and hail are received from local law enforcement and the public. National Weather Service forecasters are the first line of defense in predicting severe weather. The NWS page gives information about, air quality, beach hazards, floods, heat, lightning, safe boating, sun[ultraviolet radiation], thunderstorms, tornadoes, and, of course, hurricanes.
The National Safety Council deals with such typical summer experiences as heat, bugs, playgrounds, fireworks, water safety, bicycling, skateboarding, boating and pedestrian safety.
Among the many safety topics available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is extreme heat. In a nutshell it’s: stay cool, stay hydrated, stay informed! Even though heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year.
At ready.gov, they feature a preparedness calendar. For June they include information on Pet Preparedness, Summer Safety / Extreme Heat and National Lightning Safety Preparedness Week. For July it’s Fireworks Safety and Extreme Heat. August wraps up the summer with guidance on Back to School: Children & Youth Preparedness.
Last but not least, our most recent disaster preparedness section remains available to all.