WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Sunrise varies over North Carolina by 33 minutes from Manteo to Murphy

Posted March 27

Easter sinrise

— North Carolinians planning to attend sunrise services on Sunday will be setting their alarms for different times across the state. North Carolina is a very wide state, widest east of the Mississippi. The state spans 560 miles and nearly 9 degrees of longitude. As a result, sunrise times from Rodanthe in Dare County to Hothouse Township in Cherokee County varies by 33 minutes.

Oean View Baptist Church in Kill Devil Hills will hold a Easter Sunrise Service on the beach at the Clark Street public beach access near milepost 9 beginning at 6:30 am. The sun will first be visible above Atlantic ocean at 7:00 a.m.

Hayes Barton Baptist Church and Ephesus Baptist Church in Raleigh are sponsoring an interfaith sunrise service at at the Meredith College Amphitheater beginning at 7:00 a.m. ahead of Raleigh’s sunrise at 7:11 a.m.

Continuing westward, the 61st annual Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock State Park near Asheville begins at 7:00 a.m. Guests can watch the sun rise over Lake Lure at 7:26 a.m.

Visitors to Peechtree Memorial Baptist Church in Murphy can sleep in an extra 30 minutes. Services there start at 7:30 a.m. ahead of sunrise 3 minutes later.

These times may not agree with sunrise information from sources like the Farmers Almanac or Google. The times above are based on a formula which uses the coordinates of the location including longitude, latitude and elevation to calculate sunrise. Unlike other formulas, this one also takes into account atmospheric refraction. That refraction brings the top limb of the sun into view while it is still physically more than half a degree below the horizon pushing visible sunrise about 3.5 minutes earlier.

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