So you threw away your long winter coats and put on something a little cooler (maybe something from the Pioneer Woman Spring Collection?) The smell of smoke from a delicious barbecue sings in the air. Children scream while doing slides and such outdoor games around the yard. Are these the signs that summer has begun? We would like to say a resounding Yes. Yet with all the clear signals of our favorite season, even Remembrance Day getaways do not mark the official arrival of summer. So when does summer start? Or, perhaps more relevant once we get there: when does summer end? These questions may seem arbitrary, but a fascinating seasonal event actually determines summer.
When does summer start and end in 2022?
The first day of summer in North America is Tuesday, June 21. It’s not only the longest day of the year, it’s also the Tuesday after Fathers Day and June tenth. The big takeaway? We recommend celebrating all weekend! The official end of summer comes three months later, on Thursday, September 22.
What determines the last day of summer?
More in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, it can feel like the end of summer when the weather starts to get a bit more humid and the evenings start to cool down. While that seems like a good marker of the seasons, the reason for the official summer dates is a bit more interesting. The last day of summer is determined by the September or autumnal equinox, which marks the first day of autumn. The astrological equinox is when the sun crosses the equator heading south. At the time of the equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator and both hemispheres receive the same amount of rays. Once the time has passed, the North Pole begins to move away from the sun, and so begins the period of longer nights and shorter days. (This is similar to how the first spring day is determined.)
Is it the same day every year?
Nope! The biannual equinox would occur on the same day each year if the Earth followed the Gregorian calendar and took exactly 365 days to make a complete revolution around the sun. However, the Earth does not follow our man-made time markers exactly, and it takes an average of 365 days and six hours to circle the sun. This is why we have a leap day every four years, and this is also why the summer solstice is shifted by a day or two depending on the year.
So in 2022, you will have 93 days to celebrate the summer season. Now roll up your sleeves and get ready to grill before the time is up!