[LMB] panel discussion of The Curse of Chalion

Brad Jones brad at kazrak.com
Tue Jun 22 19:00:36 BST 2021

On Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 10:44 AM Margaret Dean <margdean56 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 10:28 AM Brad Jones <brad at kazrak.com> wrote:
> >
> > I'm fond of using the meteorological definitions of the seasons, because
> > they're the ones that actually make sense on the ground.  (By which
> count,
> > summer here started three weeks ago, which meshes with reality quite
> > well.)  I really do not understand why people get so obsessed with the
> > astronomical seasons when describing the weather.
> >
> Meteorological seasons work fine when you're describing a limited land area
> (e.g. a moderate-sized country, or a U.S. state). They work less well when
> you want a consistent system for a significant portion of a continent (e.g.
> the USA as a whole). I suspect that's why the U.S. tends to use
> astronomical seasons, which occur at the same time in Alaska, Hawaii,
> Florida and Maine.
So, we use a setting that doesn't actually work anywhere instead of one
that works in the vast majority of the country.  Meteorologically, summer
is June 1-August 31 for all temperate regions of the northern hemisphere,
which is all of the US except for Hawaii, any tropical territories like
Guam, and the arctic parts of Alaska.

It's worth noting that we actually _do_ use the meteorological seasons, or
something very close to them.  Memorial Day is generally considered the
effective start of summer, and Labor Day its end...which are quite close to
the meteorological dates.  Then we crow about how the solstice means it's
_officially_ summer now.  That latter is what I object to.

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