We've already suffered through some serious heat this year in Louisiana and it's surprising to find out that Summer didn't even officially begin until today!

We've already had heat indices in our area over 100 and I took this picture Saturday when it was almost too hot to touch your steering wheel. When it's already this hot, how can it not already be summer?!?!?

So what is the summer solstice? In short, it's the longest day of the year. But Wikipedia get's a little more detailed:

The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of a planet's semi-axis, in either northern or southern hemispheres, is most inclined toward the star that it orbits. Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23° 26'. This happens twice each year (once in each hemisphere), at which times the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole.

The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere's summer. This is the northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs some time between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere[2][3] and between December 20 and December 23 each year in the southern hemisphere.[4] The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice.

When on a geographic pole, the Sun reaches its greatest height, the moment of solstice, it can be noon only along that longitude which at that moment lies in the direction of the Sun from the pole. For other longitudes, it is not noon. Noon has either passed or has yet to come. Hence the notion of a solstice day is useful. The term is colloquially used like midsummer to refer to the day on which solstice occurs. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility.[5]

Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

You can thank the incoming rain for keeping our temperature a bit lower than average today. Our predicted high is in the upper 80's but back in 1936, we hit a high of 104! The new lower temps will be a relief because we've been running 4-5 degrees warmer than average over the last week and it feels like you can cut the humidity with a knife!

But this year's summer solstice is special. It's the first time in decades that the solstice has come at the same time as a full moon and according to experts, it's a special 'Strawberry moon.'  

Of course, the summer solstice is about more than a super long, hot day. A lot of people look at it as a spiritual day: