Happy Aphelion Day. Here are some facts to get you started! The sun is 94.8 million miles from earth compared to 91.7 million miles in January. The earth is 4 degrees warmer today on average compared to January. This is because 40% of the northern hemisphere being covered by land masses compared to only 20% of the southern hemisphere being covered by land. So even though we are the farthest away from the sun today compared to any other day of the year, it is where our land masses are located and the and the tilt of the earth that play huge roles in our climate and seasons. Want more...the earth's orbital speed is 18.2 miles per second today or a bit slower compared to a speed of 18.8 miles per second in January. Yes, all the meteorologists are the ones shooting off the post-4th fireworks. We get excited about this stuff! It gets better.
The sun is 6.5 percent less bright than it was in January. That is hard to fathom, I know, especially when the latest forecast calls for 90s on the way this weekend! The reason for this is at 8 p.m. tonight the earth's orbit reaches its farthest point away from the sun. This is called aphelion. You see the current satellite picture above and it shows plenty of direct rays here in Lafayette. This time of year those direct rays really hit home close to the aphelion bringing us our hottest weather of the year. So even though we are farther from the sun, remember the tilt of the earth and direct rays really control our weather. This means we cannot get used to today's refreshing breezes. They just do not last too long this time of year. Happy Aphelion Day anyway to you! By Sunday we may not be in the mood for a celebration with a heat index over 100 degrees.
But tonight we are celebrating live on the air at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. The weather will be just right for our backyard barbeque contest winners. Krystal and Taylor Sigman will be bringing 17 family members for lots of fun out at Historic Prophetstown. This is just another good reason to log in to wlfi.com. It is the third year I have hosted the winning family and it is an absolute blast for everybody. It includes a trolley ride pulled along by beautiful Belgian horses, watermelon races, finding a needle in the haystack, a grand tour of a classic 1920's style home, and a good game of corn hole or washoos! I will let you know more about this later tonight so check back!
I am still full from all the great food and the company was even better. The weather was absolutely terrific! I wanted to thank our sponsors which included Farmers State Bank, Parrett's catering, and Dog N Suds. The Sigmans loved the tour of Prophetstown and had a great time on their trolley ride. I did play a game of corn hole and lost to Heather 2 games to 1. I will have to practice up for next year! The funniest part of the evening was the watermelon race, when some of the young ones were trying to carry watermelons with one arm a good 50 yards. The watermelons were bigger than they were. At least the watermelons were not all greased up. The winning team was awarded free passes to Indiana Beach and everybody was a winner because there were plenty of delicious watermelons to chow on after the race. I am just relieved I got those Belgian horses to move our trolley....it took not one but two long kisses. Hey, I got them to go! It was just a little more scary than usual because I did this on live television. But I stuck my lips out there and somehow came through. This was good practice for me. I was just warming up for the Kiss the Pig contest at the Tippecanoe County Fair. So competition, beware! Look for more contests on wlfi.com. It certainly does pay to log on.
Have a great weekend! Will I be able to find some sweet corn for my family? I will have your answer on Monday along with a heat wave update! See you soon and make sure to tune in tonight for your wedding forecasts on 7-7-7! The lucky day will live up to its name, weatherwise and hopefully otherwise.