KSA experiences longest day of 2014
Saudi Arabia experienced the longest day of 2014 on Saturday June 21 totaling nearly 13 hours and 48 minutes of daylight. “All the countries located in the northern hemisphere including the Gulf states had the longest day on June 21,” said Zaki Abdulrahman Mustafa, a senior astronomer at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), here on Saturday.
“Saudi nights are at their shortest and daytimes are at their longest around the summer solstice,” said Mustafa, adding that the shortest day of 2014 will occur on December 21 or 22, exactly six months from now. In fact, the longest day on Saturday lasted for about 13 hours and 40 minutes in the capital city, and about 13.27 hours in the holy city of Makkah and the coastal city of Jeddah.
He said the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun to the maximum during this event, which makes the days longer. The summer solstice indicates the beginning of summer in some parts of the world including the Gulf countries. The astronomer, however, said the longest day is not necessarily the hottest for many other countries.
The date for the summer solstice can vary from June 20 to 22. But, in the Northern Hemisphere in 2014, June 21, June 22 or even June 23 is normally the longest day of the year, as measured in daylight hours. In Scandinavian countries, the day was as long as 19 hours said another Saudi astronomer Mulham bin Hindi in a report. He said that Sunday night will be the shortest in the Scandinavian countries.
Several countries including the GCC, the US, the UK and the Philippines also celebrated the longest day on Saturday. In London, the sun rose at 04.43 and set at 21.21 on the summer solstice, giving 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight.