When does the sun reach 45 degrees above the horizon in Chicago?

Dear Tom,
My husband is interested in the period of the year knowing when the sun reaches at least 45 degrees above the horizon. When will that take place?

Deborah and Neil Levin

Dear Deborah and Neil,
The noon sun in Chicago finally will reach an elevation 45 degrees above the horizon, the halfway point between the horizon and the zenith, on Friday.

Over the course of the year the highest daily sun elevation varies from a low point of 24.7 degrees on the winter solstice to a peak of 71.6 degrees on the summer solstice.

At 11:51 a.m. Friday, the sun will be at an elevation of 45 degrees and remain there for about 21 minutes. At 12:02 p.m. Sept. 30, the peak sun elevation will drop below 45 degrees and not regain that 45-degree peak until 11:36 a.m. March 13, 2011.

Thunderstorm clouds

Professional photographer John Smierciak from St. John, Indiana sent us this striking picture of the Thursday’s thunderstorm. John tells us this view is looking west towards Illinois.

Thanks for the great shot John!
storm03121002.jpg

Photo courtesy of John Smierciak—SMIERCIAK IMAGES INC.

Thunderstorms continue to weaken and move out of the area

Shortly before 9:15 p.m. radar indicated a pronounced weakening in the thunderstorm activity that have been moving through the Chicago area. The thunderstorms should continue to weaken and they move north into Lake County and Lake Michigan. 

Earlier this evening the storms unleashed a barrage of small hail, heavy rain and produced vivid lightning displays.

Small hail at Melrose Park, near O'Hare and in Morton Grove

Late reports indicate pea-sized hail at Melrose Park shortly after 8:35 p.m, near O’Hare Airport near the intersection of Harlem Avenue and Northwest Highway and in Morton Grove.

Thunderstorms continue to move north through northern Cook County and are starting to show signs of weakening as nighttime cooling continues. One area of thunderstorms is moving into southern Lake County Illinois and another area is moving through the central portion of Chicago.
Small hail and heavy rain can be expected as these storms pass through. An overall decrease in storms and intensiy can be expected during the next hour.