Currently — June 22nd, 2022

The weather, currently.

Temperatures from Minnesota to Texas are in the triple digits this week — weather that’s more typical of July and August.

Now that it’s officially summer in the Northern Hemisphere, as of Tuesday’s solstice, temperatures are heating up. But a heat wave this extreme is unusual nearly any time of the year, let alone in late June. Temperatures this hot in late June are 5-10 degrees hotter than normal for Texas, and about 20 deg F hotter than normal for Minnesota. The official temperature in Minneapolis reached 101°F (38.3°C) on Monday, that city’s hottest day since July 2012 according to Currently’s Sven Sundgaard.

This heat won’t dissipate anytime soon. Temperatures are very likely to remain warmer than normal over the next 6 to 10 days for pretty much everyone across the continental United States. After the hottest spring on record in Texas, the troubled utility ERCOT predicts this summer could also be the state’s hottest in history, warning that “105+ degree high should be frequent”.

Climate change caused by decades of fossil fuel burning is playing a big role here, making heat waves like this longer and more intense.

—Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

Everyone get ready to soak up the sun, as the first day of astronomical summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) has officially arrived. Although, meteorological summer began on June 1, and many of us have already been feeling the heat!

Today marks the summer solstice, making it the start of a new season as well as the longest day of the year. According to the National Weather Service, the solstice began at 5:13 a.m. on the East Coast and 2:13 a.m. on the West Coast.

A solstice occurs when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit when its at the most northerly point in the sky — above the Tropic of Cancer — at 23.5 degrees north latitude. It sits there for a bit before reversing and continuing its way southward towards the equator. Today, we have the most hours of daylight and the least amount of darkness out of any day in the year because the sun takes the longest path across the sky from sunrise to sunset.

The summer solstice corresponds with the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, which — conversely — marks the start of the winter season and the shortest day and longest night of the year.

Solstices happen every June and December and historically, were used as ways of timekeeping, as they occur at the same time around the world.

—Aarohi Sheth