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Summer Solstice 2022: When Does Summer Start?

The summer solstice marks the start of summer. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice is in June; south of the equator, it is in December.

Illustration image

In temperate climes, the summer season brings warm weather and long days.

©iStockphoto.com/damedeeso

Summer 2022 Dates

According to the astronomical definition, the start of summer falls on the summer solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere, it's the June solstice; south of the equator, it is the solstice in December.

Summer Solstice, Northern Hemisphere (June)

North America, Europe, most of Asia, Northern Africa

Northern Hemisphere Map

In Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 5:13 am EDT (Change location)
This corresponds to Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 09:13 UTC.

Summer Solstice, Southern Hemisphere (December)

Australia, New Zealand, South America, southern Africa

Southern Hemisphere Map

In Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 4:48 pm EST (Change location)
This corresponds to Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 21:48 UTC.

Alternative Summer Start Dates

Meteorologists use a different method of defining the first day of summer. And, in some countries, the beginning of the seasons is determined by average temperatures rather than fixed dates or astronomical events.

Days Get Shorter During Summer

Astronomical summer begins at the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year. This means days get shorter during summer—very slowly at first, but at ever-larger daily intervals as the September equinox approaches, heralding the start of fall.

Locations closer to the poles experience larger differences in day length throughout the year, so summer days are longer there. In Toronto, the longest day is just over 15 hours and 26 minutes long; in Miami, roughly 2000 kilometers or 1200 miles farther south, it lasts about 13 hours and 45 minutes.

Places within the polar circles experience Midnight Sun or polar day during all or part of the summer season when the Sun does not set at all.

Earth's position in relation to the Sun's rays at the June solstice.
Earth's position in relation to the Sun's rays at the June solstice.

Earth's position in relation to the Sun's rays at the June solstice.

© timeanddate.com

Shorter Days, but Rising Temperatures

Although daylight hours decrease during the summer months, temperatures continue to rise in most regions. This is because it takes time for Earth to cool down, an effect known as seasonal lag.

Summer Traditions and Folklore

The start of summer and the summer solstice are celebrated in cultures and religions around the world with various traditions, holidays, and festivals.

Summer Months

In the Northern Hemisphere, astronomical and meteorological summer runs from June to September. South of the equator, it starts in December and ends in March. Read more about the history and meaning of the summer months:

Northern summer months

June | July | August | September

Southern summer months

December | January | February | March

How Long Is Summer?

The Earth does not move at a constant speed in its elliptical orbit, so the seasons are not of equal length. On average, summer lasts for 93.6 days in the Northern Hemisphere and 89.0 days in the Southern Hemisphere.

Average season lengths:

Topics: Astronomy, Seasons, December, June, Sun, Solstice