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In New England, it probably doesn't make sense to divide the year into four equal seasons. - Bartender Geek [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Xiphias Gladius

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In New England, it probably doesn't make sense to divide the year into four equal seasons. [Mar. 20th, 2014|11:58 am]
Xiphias Gladius
Officially, each season starts on one of the quarter days: an equinox or solstice. But, really -- while "spring starts in mid-to-late-March" is reasonable, and "fall starts mid-September" feels a little late, but okay if you include Indian summer, "summer starts in mid-to-late-June" and "winter starts in mid-to-late December" are ridiculous.

I think, in our hearts, we all know that winter and summer are longer than spring and fall. So I think it makes sense to include the cross-quarter days. That puts spring from, say, about March 20 to about May 7 or so; summer from about May 8 to September 21 or so; fall from about September 22 to around November 7; winter from about November 8 to March 19.

Approximately. Feel free to shift dates around a bit.

That would make spring and fall about a month and a half each, and summer and winter about four and a half months each. Summer and winter would be about three times as long as spring and fall.

One could also just go by months: spring would be March and April; summer would be May, June, July, and August; fall would be September and October; winter would be November, December, January, and February. That shifts seasons away from the solar calendar, and also makes the major seasons only twice as long as the minor seasons, instead of three times.

In my heart, I feel like something in that range makes sense: spring DOES start somewhere between March 1 and March 21; summer DOES start somewhere in the first week of May; fall DOES start somewhere between September 1 and September 22; winter DOES start somewhere in the first week of November.

I mean, for New England.

[User Picture]From: tober
2014-03-20 05:02 pm (UTC)
There are more-or-less official meteorological seasons that differ from the astronomical seasons. See http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/meteorological-versus-astronomical-summer%E2%80%94what%E2%80%99s-difference

(meteorological seasons are summer - June-August, fall - September-November, winter - December-February, spring - March-May - doesn't address your criticism about fall and spring being shorter than summer and winter but at least the mid-seasons are considerably better-positioned)
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2014-03-20 06:09 pm (UTC)
Those do seem more reasonable, yes. I can live with those: "May" being spring and "November" being fall seem plausible, too, making four equal-ish seasons.

Yeah, the extant meteorological seasons seem at LEAST as good as the ones I suggested, if not better.
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[User Picture]From: goljerp
2014-03-21 12:14 pm (UTC)
This makes sense to me (having grown up in New England and lived there till I moved to New York -- with the exception of my year abroad, of course.)
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[User Picture]From: pameladean
2014-03-20 08:28 pm (UTC)
I have a really great gardening book that divides the year into six seasons and defines the beginning of each as the time when particular plants appear or bloom. It's only good for North America, but it's extremely satisfying and adaptable to weird years.

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[User Picture]From: ceo
2014-03-20 08:51 pm (UTC)
See, I don't think winter starts in early November, I think it starts, well, right around Christmas. It's unusual to get significant snow before about the third week in December, for one thing.

I was thinking about this recently, and came up with a different approach: The months containing the equinoxes and solstices (March, June, September and December) are transition months, belonging to no season. So, winter is January and February, spring is April and May, summer is July and August, and fall is October and November.
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[User Picture]From: thnidu
2014-03-21 05:40 am (UTC)
See "Your Seasons, New England".

Edited at 2014-03-21 05:44 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: ashnistrike
2014-03-21 01:42 pm (UTC)
Here in the DC area, we actually do get 4 equal-length seasons (which was a pleasant surprise - I'd never lived anywhere that had that before). One way to say it is that winter is December-January-February, spring is March-April-May, summer is June-July-August, and fall is September-October-November. The less-serious way I describe it is to say that every month is one month 'warmer' than the default Boston/Chicago seasons - January is in fact February, November is in fact October. So, we skip December and January, but get August twice.

When I was growing up in western Mass., my mom told me that 'really' winter was October-March, and spring and fall got a month each.

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[User Picture]From: paper_crystals
2014-03-22 04:49 pm (UTC)
I don't like seasons. If I could be in a hot, dry climate 365 days a year I would be happy. But one thing I don't get are people who justify living in upstate NY north of Albany because they like "seasons." We have six months of winter weather, that is not a season. I am down if they like six months of winter but six months of winter != 4 equally spaced seasons.
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