Insolation is a portmanteau of Incoming Solar Radiation, or how much energy we are receiving on per day from the sun (measured in watts per meter squared). This changes based on the tilt of the earth, which in turn affects both the total duration and angle of sunlight. The patterns change a lot depending on the specific latitude, and the Twin Cities is located at about 45º N. Here’s where we sit today, on a chart showing insolation patterns at four different latutides:
(To imagine the Twin Cities insolation pattern, picture a line half-way between the red and green lines.)
We’re entering the period of greatest change as we move toward the equinox. Get outside, go for a walk or ride your bike*, and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!
* Denotes tenuous connection to transportation