UPDATE:


Eric Elwell: 7 surprising facts about summer

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 3:06 PM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini explains why summer starts on June 21st.

Ready or not, here comes summer.

Summer will officially begin early tomorrow morning just after midnight, at 12:24 a.m. Granted, it has felt like summer for much of the last week thanks to the heat and humidity.

RELATED: Warm spring means hot summer likely

For the Northern Hemisphere, summer begins when the sun’s zenith reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.4 degrees. It’s also known as the northern solstice because it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course, this is the first day of winter for the Southern Hemisphere.

Typically, the first day of summer is also the longest day of the year. Because summer officially begins just after midnight Wednesday morning, both today and Wednesday will have 14 hours, 59 minutes and 19 seconds of full daylight. After Wednesday, we will lose about 3 and a half minutes of daylight by the end of the month and then lose over 40 minutes in the month of July.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE NEWS APPS FOR THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS, WEATHER

Here are seven other interesting facts about the summer months you may or may not know:

1. The word solstice derives from Latin, meaning ‘sun stands still’. This word was chosen because when the solstice occurs the sun appears to stand still.

2. Every year on the summer solstice, a unique baseball game is played in Fairbanks, Alaska on the solstice since the sun is out for almost 24 hours. The game begins around 10 p.m. and ends around 1 a.m. without any artificial lighting. The tradition originated in 1906 and has been played every year since 1960 by the Alaska Goldpanners.

3. The Eiffel Tower in France grows more than 6 inches thanks to the expansion of iron due to the heat of summer.

4. The dog days of summer typically are the weeks between July 3 and August 11. And no, it has nothing to do with it being so hot that dogs are lazy and lay around. The name came about because the Greeks and Romans associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius. Sirius was known as the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (large dog). Sirius also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky. Sirius is so bright that the ancient Romans thought it radiated extra heat toward Earth. During the summer, when Sirius rises and sets with the Sun, they thought Sirius added heat to the Sun’s heat to cause hotter summer temperatures.

5. Summers in the northern hemisphere are typically hotter than summer in the southern hemisphere due to the differences in amount of land masses. There is more land mass in the northern hemisphere which heats up faster than water. Of course, land also cools faster so typical winters in the southern hemisphere are milder than those in the north.

6. Earth is not the only planet to have a summer solstice. Mars’ solstice occurs a few days after earth’s June solstice. On Uranus, each summer solstice lasts for 42 years. This also means that each winter solstice lasts the same amount of time for the opposite hemisphere. Let’s just be thankful that we get to enjoy our seasons more often than every 42 years!

7. Finally, one of my most favorite facts is this one: Watermelon is the most popular summer vegetable in the United States. Watermelon is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92 percent water. The average American consumes 15 pounds of watermelon annually. Wow!

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Fall colors nearing peak across Miami Valley

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 6:07 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about our color update from ODNR and forecast heading into the weekend.

Most of the Miami Valley is seeing peak or near peak fall color, according to the latest report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The reds, oranges and yellows might not be as bright as they were in the past because of the mild start to the month. The cool nights and sunny days this week might help a few slow changing trees to really pop. 

Sycamore State Park and Indian Lake State Park are seeing peak fall color.

>> Warming trend continues, lower temps arrive next week

The third week of October is typically when the Miami Valley sees the best colors emerge, and true color should show into next week.

Heavy rain or wind can take the leaves off the trees quickly this time of year, but weather this weekend is expected to be mild.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

The rest of this week looks sunny and dry with highs in the low to middle 70s. 

Get outside and enjoy the color change. Share your photos with us using the hashtag #Skywitness7!

WPAFB Thursday Weather: Mostly sunny skies as warming trend continues 

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 12:03 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—Temperatures will start the day back in the middle 40s with an unseasonably mild afternoon, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. 

RELATED: Dayton Interactive Radar - WHIO Doppler 7

Temperatures are expected to reach into the lower 70s under mostly sunny skies. Dry weather will stick around Friday and through most of the weekend. The warming trend will continue with highs in the middle 70s Friday through Sunday.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

A cold front will approach the Miami Valley Sunday night bringing with it clouds and our next chance for showers. Blustery, cool and wet weather is expected to start next week.

Temperatures on the rise into the weekend

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 3:32 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 10:41 PM

Five Day Forecast

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Quiet, cool tonight
  • Sunny skies will stick around into Saturday
  • Temperatures to fall late Sunday into Monday

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Tonight: Clear skies, cool air expected as temperatures overnight drop back into the lower 40s, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.

Thursday: Lots of sunshine through the day. High clouds move through late in the day and into evening. High temperatures will be in the lower 70s. 

>> County-by-County forecast

Friday: More sunshine to wrap up the week. Highs in the lower 70s still.

>> Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Saturday: Unseasonably warm as highs top out in the mid-70s.

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini

>> Warming trend continues; lower temps arrive next week

Sunday: Clouds on the increase late in the day. A chance of rain toward evening and later tonight. Otherwise, breezy and warm with highs in the mid-70s.

Monday: Showers likely. Blustery. Temperatures expected to fall through the 60s during the afternoon.

Orionid meteor shower peaks this week

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 5:53 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about where and where to look for the shower.

After finding Venus and Mars early in the week, another special treat awaits you in the early morning sky heading into the weekend! 

The Orionid meteor shower will be peaking Friday night through Saturday morning. Debris from Haley's comet will hit the Earth's atmosphere, creating the show.

>> Warming trend continues; lower temps arrive next week

The Orionid shower gets its name because the meteors look like they are coming  from the constellation Orion. This year, 10 to 30 meteors per hour are possible. 

Skies will be dark all night because the moon will set early Friday evening, allowing for a good show. The best chance to see the most meteors may be from 2 a.m. until sunrise.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Get outside and grab a blanket, find a dark spot with a good view of the sky and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. If you capture any photos share them using the hashtag #SkyWitness7!