People raise their hands in celebration during the summer solstice shortly after 4:52 am at the prehistoric Stonehenge monument, near Salisbury, England, Friday, June 21, 2013. Following an annual all-night party, thousands of New Agers and neo-pagans danced and whooped in delight at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, marking the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
The summer solstice arrived at 1:04 a.m., marking the moment when the sun reached the Tropic of Cancer – its highest point in the atmosphere, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
In other words, today is the astronomical start of summer, marking the longest day of sunshine for 2013. From here on out, it’s all downhill. The length of daylight has been growing until now, and will begin to grow shorter until the winter solstice on Dec. 21.
So enjoy. It will be a beautiful solstice to celebrate. Weather-wise, it just might be a perfect summer weekend – sans the need for air conditioning.
The National Weather Service’s Mount Holly office is forecasting highs in the mid-80s today with low humidity, and lows in the low 60s. The rest of the weekend follows suit.
Saturday and Sunday look to be carbon copies.
High heat and humidity are expected to return next week. For more on how we've managed to avoid blistering heat so far, read Tony Wood's Weather or Not blog here.
And, if you're into celebrating the solstice, know that you're not alone.
At Times Square in New York City today, thousands are expected to roll out their yoga mats as part of the 11th annual "Mind over Madness" event. Free classes, activities and giveaways are being offered from 7.30 a.m. until 9 p.m.
In Stonehenge, England, 20,000 celebrants gathered to mark the summer solstice. The cloud cover prevented bright sunshine at dawn but a joyous spirit prevailed.
Police say there were fewer arrests than usual with 22 people taken into custody, most for drug-related offenses.
Stonehenge normally draws a crowd on the solstice, typically drawing a wide and varied crowd to the mysterious set of standing stones whose purpose remains unclear. The ancient stone circle on the Salisbury Plain about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of London, was built in three phases between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C.
The Associated Press contributed to this report