Sign up to be notified of new posts and comments.
Sunshine Through the Year
I "accidentally" found this very cool website about ten years ago and it's one of my favorites.
Gaisma.com has very comprehensive data about the amount of sunshine for every place in the world. "Gaisma" is a Latvian word, meaning "light".
Why would you want to know this? For gardening, for calculating potential solar energy, but for me, it very clearly shows the increase and decrease of day length (making it easy to find the longest days and longest nights), in beautiful graphs.
Here is my graph for Santa Rosa, California (the city closest to me in their system), for today, 21 June 2019.
Today is the Summer Solstice, the so-called "longest day". See, the day length is 14 hours and 51 minutes. But tomorrow is 14 hours and 51 minutes also, and if you could scroll this back, you would see that the prior three days were 14 hours and 51 minutes. It takes three days here for the daylight to be one minute less. When I lived in Florida, solstice happened over the period of a week.
Then this information is placed on a beautiful graph that shows the hours of sunlight over the course of the year. There's a grey line near the middle that is today.
Then there is the sun path diagram. The sun path is the seasonal-and-hourly positional changes of the sun as the Earth rotates and orbits around the sun, so you can see where the sun will be at different times of the year. This is useful to orient a house or garden to the sun. You can print your sun path diagram on an overhead transparency or tracing paper and overlay it on your house or garden plans.
In addition, there are all kinds of meteorological information for your place like temperature, wind speed, and precipitation. And if you don't know where you are in the world, it tells your longitude and latitude, too, local time zone and even your altitude.
It's a great tool to play with. I had fun looking at the sunshine hours graph for different places in the world. Compare the graph for your location with my Santa Rosa graph. Quite a difference in the sun patterns!
Even if you have no other use for this, go find your location and see what your local sun patterns are. And next time a solstice nears, here's where you can find your own "longest day" and "longest night," which might, in fact, be three or four or five or six or seven days or nights.