We’ve been gaining daylight for 181 days– all building up to today, the Summer Solstice.

Many Alaskans look forward to this day for months, eager to soak up the 19 hours and 21 minutes of daylight, but this year’s Solstice is more soggy than sunny.

The rain didn’t stop the Willis family from heading to the park though like they do every Tuesday, rain or shine.

Kim Willis had new rain suits sitting in the car just waiting on a wet day for her 3-year-old twins, Karisa and Kenzie, to try out.

“They didn’t quite know what to expect,” said Kim Willis.

Although she was prepared, Kim admits this Summer Solstice feels different than other years she remembers.

“It’s colder than the last two summers, yeah,” said Willis.

The average high temperature on the summer solstice is in the mid-60s, not the mid-50s like Tuesday. Compared to the last 10 years, this year is the coldest we’ve seen. Not the coldest ever recorded, though; that was in 1980 when we only reached 50 degrees.

The weather was likely the reason the playground at West Chester Lagoon was so quiet on this June 20. Even the Willis’ are cutting their time short.

“We usually bring a lunch, I didn’t bring a lunch,” said Willis. “We’re going to go to lunch somewhere after this because I didn’t want to eat in the rain.”

The rain started falling at 7 a.m. and continued nonstop for nearly seven hours.

On average Anchorage sees about five-hundredths of an inch of rainfall on the Summer Solstice, so, it’s not uncommon to have some rain, but not this much rain.

This will likely be one of the top four wettest Summer Solstices ever recorded in Anchorage to date with over a third of an inch by 5 p.m. The wettest was over a half of an inch back in 1999.

It only took about 15 minutes for Kenzie and Karisa to have their fill of the park– they were eager to get somewhere warm and dry. They’ll be happy to hear more typical summer-like weather is in the forecast for this coming weekend.

Anchorage gained 13 hours and 54 minutes of daylight since December 21.

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