MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The dog days of summer are upon us as the summer solstice happens this Sunday, the same day as Father’s Day, and it marks the official start of the summer season.

The sun will shine directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere as the sun moves through a long path in the sky. This happens because the north pole points towards the sun due to the earth’s 23.4-degree tilt on its axis. The tilt of the earth is the reason for the seasons on our planet.

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However, the complete opposite happens in the Southern Hemisphere as the winter solstice occurs on Sunday for areas south of the equator. The south pole points away from the sun and it will be nighttime for 6 months straight.

Back to the Northern Hemisphere, summer officially kicks off at 11:32 pm EDT this Sunday, June 20th. So it happens later at night but Sunday will still be the longest day of the year. Sunday’s sunrise in Miami will occur at 6:29 am then the sun will set at 8: 14 pm.

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In total, there will be 13 hours and 45 minutes of daylight in South Florida on Sunday. If we were in New York, we would have 15 hours, 5 minutes, and 37 seconds of day time. That’s a long time of seeing the sun but not as long as having 6 months straight of pure daylight which happens in areas within the Arctic Circle.

After the Summer Solstice, the true ‘dog days’ of summer happen between mid-July and through the month of August. This is the time of the year when temperatures in South Florida reach the 90s every afternoon. Combine that with the high humidity, the heat index is frequently reaching triple-digits.

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One fun fact that you can even test out yourself is to go outside at noontime on the day of the summer solstice and take a look at your shadow – it will be the shortest noontime shadow of the year!

Jennifer Correa