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Friday, March 17, 2006

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Interesting... I think we've had this conversation before, but.... I'd thought that the date when the seasons changed was the same all over the globe. Here in the U.S. it won't be spring until March 21 or 23rd.

No, in Australia the seasons change on the first of the month - spring is September 1, summer December 1, autumn March 1 and winter June 1. In Sydney those dates don't always map accurately to the weather, especially autumn - it doesn't really start to get cool until May, though I guess we don't usually have many scorchers after February. (Though it was very hot and burning today.)
In the north, they don't even really have four seasons, they have a wet and a dry season, I'm not sure what dates those correlate with. (Just looked it up: http://www.billycan.com.au/topend.htm )
I don't know if other southern hemisphere countries also change their seasons on these dates or even if it's got anything to do with hemispheres (though I suspect it does).

In the U.S. the seasonal weather changes sweep across the country over a period of several months, so the first day of spring or autumn doesn't correlate at all to the date when the seasons change. I'd imagine that the same thing is true in Australia too.

The US seasons change on the solstices. Summer starts on the longest day of the year; winter starts on the shortest; spring and autumn start on the equinoxes, which I guess must be the times when the length of the days is exactly half-way between the shortest and the longest.

Starting the seasons on the first day of the month seems like it would be much easier.

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