Paul is a full-time fifth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fairfield ... Paul is a New York Emmy award winner (2007), five-time Emmy nominee, and four-time winner of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters' Association award for 'Best Weathercast' in Connecticut (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) ... The local weather journal is a two-time winner of the Communicator Award of Distinction (2012 & 2013) ... Paul was inducted into the Housatonic Community College Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) ... Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPiorek ...

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Summer Reality Check

We're off to a beautiful start this morning. Clear skies and light winds allowed the temperature to drop into the 50s in some local communities. A refreshing breeze out of the Northwest is delivering much lower dew points and humidity levels through the start of the weekend. Dare I say it almost looked and felt like early Autumn outside this morning.

Believe it or not, yesterday marked the midway point of Summer vacation for my younger son. How is that possible? It seems like only yesterday we were helping them celebrate the last day of school. That was more than four weeks ago. In less than five short weeks, the students and teachers will be heading back to the classroom once again.

The days are indeed getting "shorter." In fact, we have lost nearly 40 minutes of daylight since the first day of Summer. Sunrise on June 21st happened at 5:19. This morning's Sunrise was at 5:44, 25 minutes later. Sunset is now at 8:17, 13 minutes before the latest Sunset, at 8:30, on the Solstice.

By the end of the month, sunrise occurs at 5:47, while the Sun sets at 8:10. Two weeks later, by mid-August, the shorter days become even more pronounced, with Sunrise and Sunset times at 6:02 and 7:51, respectively. The "shorter" days have to do with the Earth's revolution around the Sun, and the 23.5 degree tilt on its axis. By the end of September, the Autumnal Equinox begins a six-month period of longer nights and shorter days in the Northern Hemisphere.

Need further proof that we're moving through Summer rather quickly? My favorite NFL team, the New England Patriots, opened training camp yesterday in Foxboro, Massachsetts. Their first exhibition game is scheduled for Thursday, August 7, against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. That's less than two weeks away! Before you know it, the regular season will be here.

Make sure you get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather day. It will be picture-perfect under mostly sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures. Tonight will be mostly clear and comfortable with lows in the low-to-mid 60s. Tomorrow will be partly sunny and pleasant before a warm front arrives early Sunday, bringing a threat of a shower or thunderstorm. Our streak of nine consecutive weekends without measured rain may come to an end.