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Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:26 am
by krystal
can someone shed a light on this subject as to why in Australia we are led to believe that the first day of summer is december 1st when the summer solstice is on the 21st? also the same for spring, winter etc...they are all said to start on the first. When i visited England i asked the people that lived there what was the date for the first day of spring and summer and no one even knew. maybe the wiz of oz can help me

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:55 am
by Andrew Dalby
I grew up in England and I was told the seasons begin on the solstices and equinoxes. If you follow that rule, winter hardly gets under way before Christmas. But the whole of December, to me, feels like winter, so if that's the Australian system, Krystal, I like it.

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:24 am
by krystal
Andrew Dalby wrote: I grew up in England and I was told the seasons begin on the solstices and equinoxes. If you follow that rule, winter hardly gets under way before Christmas. But the whole of December, to me, feels like winter, so if that's the Australian system, Krystal, I like it.
Yes i understand about the euinoxes and solstices which start on the 21st but the australian govt tell us its on the first of the month and i just wondered why they are keeping us in the dark. The children in out school system havnt got a clue what a solstice is.
Today is the first of march and they are telling us its the first day of autumn. It's 31C I might add i dont think winter is ever coming this year. LOL!!

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:00 am
by Wizard of Oz
.. ok krystal .. my initial gut reaction is that it is a convenience thing in that using the first of the month conveniently divides the year up into quarters .. the dates for the solstices, and equinoxes, do move slightly within one or two days around 19th - 23rd .. had you asked me when each of the seasons begins I would've said exactly the same as other Aussies, viz Spring 01/09, Summer 01/12, Autumn 01/03 and Winter 01/06 .. this is despite me being aware of the solstices and equinoxes and their relevance to the position of the Earth's movement around the Sun and some good old pagan rites .. *naughty grin*.. need more research when I am not at work ..

WoZ of Aus 01/03/06 .. being as it is the first day of Autumn .. *grin* ..

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:41 am
by haro
For astronomers, a season begins with a solstice or equinox. For meteorologists, however, it begins on the first day of the month in which a solstice or equinox occurs. That's common practice also here in Europe.

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:31 pm
by kagriffy
Here in the US, our meteorologists tell us that the seasons begin on the solstice or equinox. I have never understood this, because wasn't the summer solstice originally called Midsummer (and the winter solstice called Midwinter)? How can the solstice be MID-anything if it's the BEGINNING of the season? It just doesn't make sense. I think most Americans would tell you that spring doesn't "officially" begin until around the 21st of March, but I think most of them consider the months of March, April, and May to be "unofficially" spring. It just makes sense to think in terms of three entire months for each season.

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:14 am
by haro
Here in Europe, those meteorologists on TV often refer to solstice or equinox too, but that's only because its the more popular version. On several occasions I heard a weatherman (maybe a weatherperson?) say something like, "Today is the first day of summer, at least that's customary practice. For us meteorologists, however, the beginning of summer was three week ago."

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:47 am
by krystal
Well that all makes sense. I thankyou you all for your input I didnt know it was the same in Europe. Very interesting!!!

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:06 pm
by haro
Well, it's not quite the same in that the seasons are a bit the other way round up here...

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:06 am
by paulwiggins
The Australian seasons start on the first of the month because the division more accurately reflects climate patterns.

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 4:52 am
by Kanberra Kid
Plus it lends itself to simplicity.Those of us who have lived in both northern and southern hemispheres don't really need a calendar to tell us of the season's change,like today here in Canberra,I can feel that winter is very close.

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 12:15 pm
by gdwdwrkr
Yer corn hasta be in by the time the ash-leaves'r as big asa squirrel's ear.

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Fri May 12, 2006 5:43 pm
by Shelley
An' it hasta be knee-high by the fourth o' July.

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:35 pm
by gdwdwrkr
Ker-rect!

Australian dates for autumn, spring, summer and winter

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:36 pm
by Maritimo
I was told some time ago (by a meteorologist) that Australia's use of the calendar to indicate the start of summer/winter was started by the redcoats when the colony was being established - the military needed a firm point from which to change from winter to summer uniforms and figured June 1/December 1 was the way to go.