Summer Countdown

Meteorological start to summer 

We usually think of the summer solstice as the official start of the summer season based on the natural rotation of the earth around the sun. This is when the sun is directly located over the Tropic of Cancer, or when the northern hemisphere is at its maximum tilt towards the sun. Given the fact that it takes 365 ¼ days for the earth to completely circle the sun, the extra ¼ day of time leads to varying start dates of the seasons. This could make it difficult to maintain accurate seasonal records if one season starts and ends on different dates each year.  

Summer Solstice

For meteorologists to accurately keep climatological statistics such as records for each season of the year, the meteorological seasons were born. June, July, and August are classified as summer months, while September, October, and November are classified as Fall months, and December, January, and February are classified as winter months.  

Astronomical vs Meteorological

So, the next time you hear us talk about “meteorological” seasons, you will understand why.