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  #1  
Old 19 February 2008, 07:15 AM
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Glasses When do seasons start?

Comment: We always hear about the "official" start of the seasons spring,
summer, winter and fall. The dates usually correspond to the twice-yearly
solstices and equinoxes. But is there really some governing body,
scientific or political, that has declared these dates as the start of the
next season?
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  #2  
Old 19 February 2008, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: We always hear about the "official" start of the seasons spring,
summer, winter and fall. The dates usually correspond to the twice-yearly
solstices and equinoxes. But is there really some governing body,
scientific or political, that has declared these dates as the start of the
next season?
Yes. His name is Punxsutawney Phil.
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  #3  
Old 19 February 2008, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Yes. His name is Punxsutawney Phil.
Pfft. Everyone knows Mother Nature has the final say.
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  #4  
Old 19 February 2008, 07:33 AM
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I had this debate with Tarquin. Spring may not officially begin till the calendar says it begins, but try telling the spring bulbs, blossoms and animals that! I spotted a pigeon laying eggs 2 weeks ago.
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  #5  
Old 19 February 2008, 11:06 AM
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If you ask the meteorologists, who are the ones that should know, they would say that Winter is when the mean temperature over 24 hours is lower than 0C. Spring and Autumn is when the temperature is between 0 and 10C and Summer when the temperature is over 10C and these conditions must have been met for a period of at least 10 days. The calendar doesn't enter into it.
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  #6  
Old 19 February 2008, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
If you ask the meteorologists, who are the ones that should know, they would say that Winter is when the mean temperature over 24 hours is lower than 0C. Spring and Autumn is when the temperature is between 0 and 10C and Summer when the temperature is over 10C and these conditions must have been met for a period of at least 10 days. The calendar doesn't enter into it.
I thought it was mean hours of daylight rather than temperature? Some countries don't get much in the way of temperature variations.
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Old 19 February 2008, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I thought it was mean hours of daylight rather than temperature? Some countries don't get much in the way of temperature variations.
Not all countries have widely varying hours of daylight, or indeed the same seasons as we do.
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Old 19 February 2008, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Not all countries have widely varying hours of daylight, or indeed the same seasons as we do.
In Malaysia by colleagues (Malaysian ones) referred to the wet season and the fruit season!
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  #9  
Old 19 February 2008, 11:34 AM
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I was always taught that seasons began on solstices or equinoxes. That means:

spring: 21st March
summer: 21st June
autumn: 21st September
winter: 21st December

One person told me that these have been changed so that spring begins on 1st March, summer on 1st June and so on. I prefer using what I was taught because it seems 'more natural'.

The method of using 'mean temperatures' would not work with UK weather (or indeed most countries with a maritime climate).
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  #10  
Old 19 February 2008, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
One person told me that these have been changed so that spring begins on 1st March, summer on 1st June and so on. I prefer using what I was taught because it seems 'more natural'.
I've always used the whole month model Dec, Jan, Feb = Winter, etc.
Given my particular religious upbringing, using solstices would have been too pagan.
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  #11  
Old 19 February 2008, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cestrian View Post
I've always used the whole month model Dec, Jan, Feb = Winter, etc.
Given my particular religious upbringing, using solstices would have been too pagan.
We're only asking you to recognise astronomical (particularly solar) phenomena, not dance naked round your cabbage patch on those dates
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  #12  
Old 19 February 2008, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Yes. His name is Punxsutawney Phil.
Didn't you say that yesterday???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
I was always taught that seasons began on solstices or equinoxes. That means:

spring: 21st March
summer: 21st June
autumn: 21st September
winter: 21st December

One person told me that these have been changed so that spring begins on 1st March, summer on 1st June and so on. I prefer using what I was taught because it seems 'more natural'.

The method of using 'mean temperatures' would not work with UK weather (or indeed most countries with a maritime climate).
You've got it all wrong.

Summer: 1st December
Autumn: 1st March
Winter: 1st June
Spring: 1st September

Unless you live above the Tropic of Capricorn, then it's:

Dry: 1st May
Wet: 1st October
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  #13  
Old 19 February 2008, 04:04 PM
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Seasons here overlap a bit:
Spring Break Season: March 1 - April 30
May: May 1 - May 31
Hurricane Season: June 1 - November 30
Snowbird Season: October 1 - March 30
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  #14  
Old 19 February 2008, 04:19 PM
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Well here we have,

Winter,
Still Winter
Construction
Almost Winter.

i know i know old joke
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  #15  
Old 19 February 2008, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
If you ask the meteorologists, who are the ones that should know, they would say that Winter is when the mean temperature over 24 hours is lower than 0C. Spring and Autumn is when the temperature is between 0 and 10C and Summer when the temperature is over 10C and these conditions must have been met for a period of at least 10 days. The calendar doesn't enter into it.
That's an interesting definition. So the equator is summer nearly year round and the poles have no summer?

I believe the seasons are 100% based on the equinoxes and solstices. That is astronomy and not meteorology. Summer is the season with the most hours of daylight/day, winter the season with the fewest hours sunlight/day. So the equator and the poles (and everywhere in between) have equal length seasons.
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  #16  
Old 19 February 2008, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cestrian View Post
I've always used the whole month model Dec, Jan, Feb = Winter, etc.
Given my particular religious upbringing, using solstices would have been too pagan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
We're only asking you to recognise astronomical (particularly solar) phenomena, not dance naked round your cabbage patch on those dates
Indeed. My Jehovah's Witness mother, who finds birthday celebrations unacceptably pagan, has never objected to marking the seasons by the solstices and equinoxes.

In fact, she once said if she didn't "know better," she could have been a sun worshipper, because she longed so for the winter solstice every year. But she didn't say that around any of her JW friends.
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  #17  
Old 19 February 2008, 05:24 PM
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In my mind, Spring is March, April & May. Summer is June, July and August. Autumn is September, October and November. Winter is December, January and February. No one can convince me otherwise.
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  #18  
Old 19 February 2008, 05:30 PM
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My lillies are blooming, my strawberries are sprouting fruit, and it's mid-February with a temp of 50F. I don't know what season it is.
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  #19  
Old 20 February 2008, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post

I believe the seasons are 100% based on the equinoxes and solstices. That is astronomy and not meteorology. Summer is the season with the most hours of daylight/day, winter the season with the fewest hours sunlight/day. So the equator and the poles (and everywhere in between) have equal length seasons.
That should mean Summer begins approximately 6 weeks before the summer solstice and ends approximately 6 weeks after. I think that makes better sense. Under the present system Summer and Spring have nearly exactly the same hours of daylight, but one starts cold and ends warm while the other starts warm and ends cold.

So, in the new Kingdom of Sly Dog the months and seasons shall be ordained so that the day of the Winter Solstice is New Year's Eve and falls at the exact middle of the Winter Season. Further the months will be arranged so that Winter is December, January, and February; Spring is March, April, and May' etc. Finally, each sack shall have seven cats, and holding a woodchuck up before a TV camera while wearing a top hat shall be a Capital Offense.
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  #20  
Old 20 February 2008, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sly Dog View Post
That should mean Summer begins approximately 6 weeks before the summer solstice and ends approximately 6 weeks after. I think that makes better sense. Under the present system Summer and Spring have nearly exactly the same hours of daylight, but one starts cold and ends warm while the other starts warm and ends cold.
I was taught this. Using this same logic, Spring would start on or about February 7, Summer May 7, Autumn August 7 and Winter on November 7. However the climate in this latitude and maritime weather doesn't reflect these at all. Our seasons start about six weeks after these dates, which is close to what Andew of Ware, said
Quote:
I was always taught that seasons began on solstices or equinoxes. That means:

spring: 21st March
summer: 21st June
autumn: 21st September
winter: 21st December
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