Will summer solstice feel like summer in Seattle this year?

Jun 15, 2023, 7:54 AM | Updated: 9:53 am

Seattle summer solstice...

The summer solstice this year is Wednesday, June 21, at 7:57 a.m., marking the longest day of the year in Seattle at 15 hours, 59 minutes of sunshine. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)

The summer solstice this year is Wednesday, June 21, at 7:57 a.m., marking the longest day of the year in Seattle at 15 hours, 59 minutes of sunshine. Sunrise will be at 5:11 a.m. and sunset at 9:10 p.m.

The summer solstice is also the beginning of astronomical summer, or more commonly called, the start of the summer. After June 21, the days will gradually get shorter, heading to the autumn equinox in late September.

How hot, dry will it get? A preview of the Seattle summer weather

Throughout human history, many have observed the summer solstice with celebrations and rituals. For instance, ancient Greeks marked the solstice as the start of the New Year and started the one-month countdown to the opening of the Olympic Games.

Ancient European pagans welcomed the solstice with bonfires amid hopes of a good fall harvest. Bonfires were also associated with magic, banishing evil spirits and leading maidens to future husbands.

Stonehenge in the south of England is aligned with the direction of sunrise on the summer solstice – one of many theories about the purpose of this megalith monument where thousands gather each year to commemorate the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Many Native Americans participated in solstice rituals still practiced today. For example, The Sioux perform a ceremonial sun dance while wearing symbolic colors.

Today, many still celebrate the summer solstice. Parades and festivals are the most common. In Northern Europe, bonfires are lit, and homes are decorated with garlands. In parts of Scandinavia, people dance around Maypoles.

Seattle has one of the more free-spirited summer solstice parades in the country. The parade is actually this Saturday starting at 2 p.m. More than 60 community-based ensembles are expected to be part of the parade from 3rd Avenue and Leary Way to Woodland Park Avenue N. In addition to the parade, two music stages of live local bands will be in Fremont, along with many booths with handmade goods, art, fair food, and more.

Unfortunately, the weather expected for Saturday’s Solstice Parade will find summer sunshine missing. Generally, cloudy skies will prevail along with the risk of a shower, mainly in the morning, and high temperatures only reaching into the 60s.

Yet on June 21, all can celebrate the start of summer with the summer weather outlook offering a good chance of warmer and drier conditions into September – something many can also celebrate following a cool, damp weekend ahead of the solstice.

Local News

In this photo, an unusually large group of killer whales was spotted off the coast of San Francisco...

Steve Coogan

Trawl vessels caught 10 killer whales in ’23 off Alaska, federal agency says

A federal agency says one of its teams is analyzing data on 10 killer whales incidentally caught in Alaska by groundfish trawl fisheries in 2023.

5 hours ago

Image: The Jantzen Beach carousel was installed in June 1928 at the amusement park that once stood ...

Feliks Banel

Beloved, and huge, Jantzen Beach Carousel gets a new home

A beloved Portland area landmark – a vintage carousel from the 1920s – is hitting the trail for points east.

7 hours ago

Image: A view of Amazon Prime Video logo projected on a sail at a reception for Season 2 of "Modern...

the MyNorthwest staff with wire reports

Amazon Prime Video will soon have ads, or a $2.99 monthly charge to dodge them

Amazon Prime Video will include advertising during shows and movies starting early next year, joining other streaming services.

8 hours ago

weather Seattle sunshine flooding...

L.B. Gilbert

As summer ends, Seattle will feel fall fast with ‘first heavy rainfall’

As Friday brings the last official day of summer, it will start to feel like fall incredibly fast with the first heavy rain of the season expected.

13 hours ago

Image: A Bellevue Police Department vehicle...

Briseida Holguin, KIRO 7

Suspect arrested after strangling Bellevue officer, stealing police car

A Bellevue Police officer is at home recovering after being strangled by a burglary suspect early Saturday morning.

13 hours ago

Photo: A photo of Lumen Field during the preseason game against the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seaha...

Julia Dallas, KIRO 7

New study ranks Lumen Field as one of most dangerous stadiums in US

A new study by Sportsbook Review found that the zip code surrounding Lumen Field is the second highest in local crime compared to other stadium zip codes in the US.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Will summer solstice feel like summer in Seattle this year?