New year brings more sunlight

5 years ago

MARS HILL, Maine — With a new year comes growing periods of sunlight and reasons to appreciate both winter and the eventual transition to spring.

On Jan. 1, Presque Isle and other areas at 46 degrees latitude receive approximately 8 hours and 35 minutes of sunlight. Through the month of January, that will grow about one minute each day.

A graphic from the National Weather Service, issued for the 2016, summer solstice, shows where the sunrise shines first in Maine, depending on the time of year.
National Weather Service graphic

By March 1, northern Maine will see the sun rise at 6:10 a.m. and set at 5:18 p.m. with more than 11 hours of daylight.

Maine is the first place in the U.S. to see sunlight in the morning, with the exact spot changing between three locations depending on the season and angle of the earth’s tilt.

During much of fall and winter, from Oct. 7 and March 6, Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island is the first place in the United States to receive rays of sun in the morning.

For about 2.5 weeks in early and mid-March and again in late September and early October, West Quoddy Head in Lubec sees the sun first.

During spring and most of the summer, when earth is tilting north to the sun, the sunrise first hits Bigrock Mountain in Mars Hill.