Latest sunset of the year occurs this week

Sunset off the "Mighty Ike"

The latest sunset of the year in Huntsville will occur this week at 8:04 PM, just one week after the summer solstice and longest amount of daylight. The latest sunset of the year always comes after the summer solstice. This is because of the Earth’s tilted axis, which causes the sun to hit the Earth unevenly from the equator to the poles.

Consider that the longest amount of daylight in parts of Alaska is well over 24 hours, because the North Pole is tilted towards the sun during the summer. Meanwhile, locations along the equator always experience 12 hours of daylight because the equator is right between the poles, so it never tilts towards or away from the sun.

The timing of sunsets, just like the amount of daylight experienced, depends on latitude. Closer to the equator the latest sunset occurs shortly after the solstice. In the mid-latitudes (where Alabama is located) the latest sunset occurs around a week after the Solstice.

What all of this boils down to is that the Tennessee Valley will soon be losing evening daylight hours. Once we head into July the sun will be setting earlier and earlier everyday up until about a week before the winter solstice in December. The sunset by that time will occur around 4:30 PM, so if you enjoy evenings outside, soak them while you can!