HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Autumn Is Here… Meteorologically Speaking

James Zahara Weather Blog

Meteorological Autumn has arrived!  That’s right!  Autumn.  Its a term that is deeply overshadowed by what we see on the calendar.  Most are familiar with the astronomical positioning of the sun in relation to the axis of our earth.  This is otherwise known as the Autumnal Equinox.

autumn leaves

The calendar shows the autumnal equinox beginning on September 22nd.  Thats all fine and dandy.  However, collecting data for a season one year may have more or less dates compared to the same season the following year.   An example would be the date when the solstice and equinox land on a given year.  Sometimes, the solstice would land on either the 20th, 21st or 22nd.  The equinox on the 21st, 22nd or 23rd.  Start and end dates can change by two or three days and as a result record keeping would be misleading when comparing one season to another.  Having the same amount of days and times would simply make more sense.  So, September 1st, December 1st, March 1st and June 1st are the beginning of each season with three months collectively per season..meteorologically speaking.

Another point to possibly take into account is simply what we see and feel based on meteorological patterns.  I get this a lot from calls, emails and Facebook.  Great examples would be the first snowflake (winter), the first severe thunderstorm (spring) and the first 90 degree day (summer).

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So, even though the calendar may still say summer, autumn has begun.  Why, because its football season!!!!

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