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Weather IQ: Summertime Stats

Chris Mulcahy answers when are the "Dog Days of Summer" and other summer stats like the hottest temperatures recorded in the Carolinas and the city of Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Summer, It’s the longest day of the year and the hottest time of year. So to kick off the season, let’s settle some summertime stats in another Weather IQ.

Summertime Stats:

The Summer solstice usually starts on June 21st but sometimes occurs on the 20th or 22nd. Since the Earth has a slight wobble when it spins, this causes a slight shift in the dates of when the seasons change. 

Right now, the Earth is pointing its Northern Hemisphere towards the sun at a 23.5° angle and the sun is making its longest journey across the sky.

This is why its the longest day of the year. 

June through September is when Charlotte is at its hottest. 

The 104° record high set back in September 1954 has only been tied a few times, first on back to back days in 2007 and later in 2012, three days in a row.

Credit: WCNC Weather

While Charlotte temps have hit the century mark 138 times since 1878, the North Carolina state record is much higher. One Fayetteville summer peaked at 110°. As for South Carolina, Columbia reached a sizzling 113° back in 2012. 

Other Facts:

  • The average summer temperature in the United States is 71.9°F. 
  • The warmest weather of the summer typically takes a few weeks to occur due to water temperatures taking longer to warm up which slows the peak heat.
  • Hotter and humid weather makes it easier for mosquitoes to fly and increases the chances of you being bit. 
  • Standing in direct sunlight can make you feel 10-15° hotter. 

RELATED: Weather IQ: Heat Index Explained

The 'Dog Days of Summer':

The Dog Days of summer have nothing to do with dogs being hot! 

This is when Sirius, the brightest star in our sky known as the Dog star, rises and sets with the sun. 

Charlotte's average of high of 90 degrees from June 29th to August 8th loosely correlates to the Dog Days of Summer that is technically from July 3rd to August 11th 

Summer Rain:

Summer is also a time for multiple storms. Over 75% of the Carolinas' lightning strikes happen during the summer months.  

RELATED: Weather IQ: The lightning most people don't know about

These summer storms can dump a lot of rain. That is why August and June are Charlotte’s two wettest months of the year. 

Credit: WCNC Weather

RELATED: Weather IQ: The facts about flash flooding

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