Miami Sunlight Intensity vs Pureto Rico

HoneyRazwellAugust 6, 2012

Can Miami match tropical level sunlight intensity? How does Miami compare with the true tropics?

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tropicbreezent

The sun is moving, relative to us, constantly throughout the year. So sunlight intensity is changing as well. Closer to vertical the sun is more intense. That happens around midday during the summer for a particular area. As you approach the equator, however, the situation changes. There's 2 periods of high sun each year, and not middle of summer. You have all these variables, so at which point are you wanting to make the comparison and to which point within the tropics? As a generalisation, over a period of a full year, anywhere in the tropics would get more. To be pedantic though, an over riding factor is cloud cover. An area getting less cloud cover would get more intense sun more frequently than an area that experienced a lot of cloud cover.

It is a complex question and there could be a lot more written on the subject (if I had time).

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 1:37AM
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HoneyRazwell

To be specific Miami in the summer months vs Puerto Rico in the summer months.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 5:26PM
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tropicbreezent

Okay, I checked out the coordinates for those places:
Miami 25.77 degrees N
Tropic of Cancer 23.43 degrees N
Puerto Rico 18.22 degrees N

Now the summer months are a 3 month period and the sun moves quite a bit during that time. In the peak of the northern summer the sun gets to (Tropic of Cancer) 23.43 degrees N where at midday it is directly overhead and most intense. At that point Miami is 2.34 degrees off from having it directly overhead. But also at that point in time Puerto Rico is 5.21 degrees off from having it directly overhead. So therefore at that time Miami has the most intense sun.

But that is the closest Miami will have to getting direct overhead sun. For the sun to get to the tropic it must go directly over head of Puerto Rico, at which time the sun will be even more intense than it ever gets in Miami. After reaching the tropic the sun then returns to the equator passing again over head of Puerto Rico. So there's 2 times during the year when the sun is more intense than it ever gets in Miami.

So for about 8% of a year the sun will be more intense in Miami than Puerto Rico. And 92% of the year in Puerto Rico the sun will be more intense than in Miami. That's a rough calculation, and that doesn't take into account cloud cover which is an unpredictable variable.

That should give you an idea of how it works. You can use the same method for working out any other place as well.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:50PM
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slopfrog

Nice reply!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:18AM
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nessz79_10a

Wow! My head is spinning!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:57PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Doesn't get better than that for an answer ;-)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:18PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

TB, are you still in Australia or are you here in Florida?

Tom

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:30PM
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tropicbreezent

Still in Au.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:53AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Did Copernicus die in vain ??lol Only planet with a "sunrise" is Mercury and even that's a short time .
Someday it will be referred to the reality of "Earth move "?? lol
Only took 2000 years to figure out this basic reality.
Another 2000 years to change the words?? lol
I will concede that "Earth moving to Earth moved is not nearly as poetic as "Sunrise Sunset"
lol

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:23AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Did Copernicus die in vain?

Probably, since the 13th Baktun ends this December 21st and what little literature remains is rather ominous. We'll probably get swallowed up by this Black Hole during the galactic alignment, eat, drink and be merry.... ;-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:47PM
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tropicbreezent

Not on the 21at December!!!! I had something planned for that weekend. There's always something that comes along and ruins things.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:28PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

...I had something planned for that weekend. There's always something that comes along and ruins things.

Well, what ever it was you'd better shift it to the 15th and 16th and make the best of it :-) :-(

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:32PM
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