What is it, why do meteorologists start the season earlier

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Happy autumnal equinox! For a moment on Thursday, the Earth’s axis will be oriented so that no part of the planet is tilted toward or away from the Sun. After that point, the equinox ends and those of us here in the Northern Hemisphere begin to turn away, heading towards the winter solstice. It’s all about the tilt of the Earth. People often mistakenly believe that the seasons on Earth are caused by the change in distance from the Sun. In reality, this distance varies slightly throughout the year. The real culprit is the Earth’s tilted axis. Over the past six months, our half of the planet has been tilted towards the Sun. This gives us more direct sunlight and a longer day. After the summer solstice in June, we began to deviate in the other direction. The days are getting shorter and our sunlight is becoming less direct. Astronomical and Meteorological Seasons The equinoxes and solstices mark the so-called “astronomical” seasons. The dates and length of these seasons vary from year to year due to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. For weather and climate scientists, this is a problem. Temperature, rain and snow statistics cannot be properly compared unless our seasons begin and end at the same time each year. To remedy this, we use “meteorological” seasons. These seasons follow the calendar exactly and correspond to annual temperature changes. Meteorological summer — on average, the three warmest months of the year (June, July and August). Winter is on average the three coldest months of the year (December, January and February). The three-month periods between them are autumn and spring. Whichever method you choose to follow, fall is definitely here. Watch the video above for the full story.

Happy autumnal equinox! For a moment on Thursday, the Earth’s axis will be oriented so that no part of the planet is tilted toward or away from the Sun. After that point, the equinox ends and those of us here in the Northern Hemisphere begin to turn away, heading towards the winter solstice.

It’s all about the tilt of the Earth.

People often mistakenly believe that the seasons on Earth are caused by the change in distance from the Sun. In reality, this distance varies slightly throughout the year.

The real culprit is the Earth’s tilted axis.

Over the past six months, our half of the planet has been tilted towards the Sun. This gives us more direct sunlight and a longer day. After the summer solstice in June, we began to deviate in the other direction. The days are getting shorter and our sunlight is becoming less direct.

Astronomical and meteorological seasons

Equinoxes and solstices mark the so-called “astronomical” seasons. The dates and length of these seasons vary from year to year due to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

For weather and climate scientists, this is a problem. Temperature, rain and snow statistics cannot be properly compared unless our seasons start and end at the same time each year.

To remedy this, we use “meteorological” seasons. These seasons follow the calendar exactly and correspond to annual temperature changes.

Meteorological summer — on average, the three warmest months of the year (June, July and August). Winter is on average the three coldest months of the year (December, January and February). The three-month periods between them are autumn and spring.

Whichever method you choose to follow, fall is definitely here.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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