[LMB] seasons OT:

Peter Newman pnewman at gci.net
Sat, 14 Dec 2002 08:19:13 -0900

Ray Drouillard" <RayLists at quixnet.net> wrote

> Peter H. Granzeau" <pgranzeau at cox.net>
> > It's obvious that winter starts on the first of December, 
> > and ends with the last day of February, in most northern 
> > temperate regions, other seasons
> > each having three-month durations, as well (more or less).  

I'm more of a sub arctic person myself, but here in Anchorage
winter usually (1) starts in mid October and lasts until mid
April thus taking up six months and leaving two months
each for the other three seasons.

> It actually makes more sense to start the seasons right 
> at the solstices and equinoxes because the seasons lag 
> behind the available heating of the Earth.

They do lag a bit, but do they really lag that much in most

> In other places, of course, spring and fall are moved up or back, and the
> summer and winter get longer or shorter.  If you want to change the
> "official" start of the seasons based on location (not just latitude),
> you'll end up with the length of the seasons varying.  Up in Yellowknife,
> winter is very long and summer is very short.  Down in the Carolinas, you
> have nine months of summer and no winter.

The 'Places Rated Almanac' lists (or at least used to list,
I haven't checked this years version) the durations of 
all four seasons in each of the 300 or so US cities it 
evaluated. The standards it uses are:

Summer = mean daily high (2) 60+ F [16+ C]
Fall = mean daily low 32 - 60 F [0 - 16 C]
Winter = mean daily low 32- F [0- C]
Spring = mean daily high 32 - 60 F [0 - 16 C]

I found this a useful standard but I've been told that 
60+ isn't summer weather to some of you who are
used to less inclement weather.

(1) At least until the last few years, where 'warm' weather
has been common (Global warming?). This year had the
latest first permanent snowfall ever (this week, almost two
months late). Two winters ago was the warmest ever recorded
and the first to have no temperatures below 0 [-18 C]

(2) Average for a 2 week period.

ObBujold: Given that Barrayar was, apparently, at a 
PreIndustrial stage of development during the Time of
Isolation has the climate warmed up since then now that
they're (presumably) pumping more CO2 into their air
and their population has risen? If so, how has this
affected their perceptions of seasons?