Summer has officially begun. With the mark of the summer solstice yesterday, the longest day of the year, residents of Washington, D.C., can expect blazing hot temperatures for today, June 21. Expect the morning and afternoon commute to be anything but comfortable, with temperatures in the high 90 degrees and an expected heat index around 105. You’ll want to pack a hat, sunglasses and extra water for any time spent outside.
The summer solstice, which occurs when the sun is at the highest point north of the equator, takes place every June 21 most years and is the official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. With 2012 being a leap year, this year’s summer solstice arrived one day earlier than usual. For the Southern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is currently in effect. With the start of the summer solstice at 7:09 p.m. yesterday evening, days will start to get shorter and shorter until the start of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice in December.
A heat advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service throughout the D.C. area and is expected to remain issued until 10 p.m. this evening. Fortunately, due to these uncomfortable conditions, Metro has allowed water bottles aboard all buses and trains for yesterday and today only. “The exception to Metro’s ‘no drinking’ policy applies to water only — on buses, in stations and aboard trains — and will remain in effect through system closing on Thursday night,” Metro says. This new accommodating exception by Metro will definitely contribute to making life a bit easier for those who have to commute today.
With the heat wave making its way to the East Coast today, it’s necessary to prepare yourself in order to prevent dehydration and exhaustion. Make sure to drink plenty of water, wear light clothing and put on the sunscreen.