Summer SolsticeThe first day of summer, also known as the summer solstice, is the longest day of the year. It is also the day when shadows are the shortest.

Throughout the year, the sun takes a six-month journey northward in the sky, peaking on the summer solstice, then begins its trek south, ending on the day of winter solstice.

Summer officially begins when the sun reaches the northernmost point, which in Casa Grande should be at about 10:16 a.m. today, according to the NWS.

At about 12:30 p.m. the sun will be as close to directly overhead as it gets this year. This is when the sun will be at an angle of only 10 degrees from a point directly overhead,” resulting in shorter shadows for objects, the agency said on its website.

Warmer days prompt some Pinal County residents to escape the summer heat by heading to backyard pools or the municipal pool. Since the Palm Island Family Aquatics Park opened for the season in May, the facility is averaging about 350 swimmers per day during open swim times.

“I’m sure that the beautiful weather that we’ve been having has contributed to our attendance numbers,” said Caryl Chase, superintendent of recreation for the city of Casa Grande.

This year, people looking to cool off at the city pool will find a newly installed 10-foot aqua climbing wall, which city staffers installed last month. The facility is one of only three municipal pools in the state to have an aqua climbing wall and Chase said it has quickly become a favorite feature for visitors to the pool.

“We have a pretty consistent line of kids each day waiting for their turn to try and make it to the top,” she said.

To oversee the running of the pool this year, the city has hired about 52 aquatic staff, about on par with previous years.

The pool is open from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $1 for children ages 17 and younger and $2 for adults.

Registration for the July swim lessons begins at 8 a.m. June 28 at Palm Island, 1115 N. Brown Ave., and the Parks and Recreation office, 404 E. Florence Blvd. Those who have taken swimming lessons previously may register online at

www.casagrandeaz.gov.

Read more at trivalleycentral.com.