I’ve always wondered why we call this the first day of summer. It’s the longest day of the year, certainly. But for most of history, it’s been called Midsummer’s Day. How can Midsummer’s day possibly be the First Day of Summer?
This year, it seems more reasonable that most. For most of the thirty-plus years I’ve lived in Sacramento, sometime in early May, right around Beltaine, the weather gets hot rather suddenly, and the air gets heavy and thick. For all practical purposes, I call that Summer.
I dont know what it is about the air here, but it’s like that all summer. It’s not the heat; the few times I’ve been on the Coast in hot weather, the air still smelled light and sweet. Yes, I know the North Coast doesn’t get hot, but Santa Cruz does.
This year, though, the weather didn’t change until a couple of weeks ago. It was cool and rainy all through May and into June. Very unusual. I think I’ve only seen this once, maybe twice, before. Our dry summer weather depends on a high-pressure system off San Francisco Bay, which diverts the storms far to the north of us. This year, the “storm door” closed unusually late.
Sacramento is a wonderful place for outdoor festivals, because it doesn’t rain during our summer. We can pretty much count on dry weather till September, and mostly even till October. I’ve missed a couple already this year; I don’t have weekends free when there are art shows to put on.