When do the seasons begin and end?

In most places in the world, the solstices and equinoxes are the dividing point, therefore today is the first day of autumn.  To be more exact:

March 20 at 18:26 UTC Vernal (Spring) equinox Autumnal equinox
June 21 at 12:26 UTC Summer solstice Winter solstice
September 22 at 04:03 UTC Autumnal equinox Vernal (Spring) equinox
December 21 at 00:22 UTC Winter solstice Summer solstice

In the UK, It’s generally held that September to November is autumn and so on throughout the year.   That makes it September 1st for the start of autumn.  Weatherwise, it makes sense although it does seem that the seasons are about month late these days.   You could point to our October snow in the past few years as negating that but if you accept that “lateness”, then that puts the change of season aboput at the equinoxes and solstices.

December’s the issue in my eyes.  Who thinks of December as autumn?   With Christmas upon us and all the mince pies and mulled wine, it seems very winterish to me.   How do you see it?

5 Responses to “When do the seasons begin and end?”

  1. Lord Nazh September 21, 2012 at 20:09 Permalink

    Seasons here generally fall on their calendar date :) so tomorrow (it’s the 21st) will be the 1st day of Autumn.

    December is weird, since the bible says the baby Jesus was born in mid-winter, where did they come up with Dec 25 as his birthdate? (Mid-winter would be February-ish)

  2. A K Haart September 21, 2012 at 20:45 Permalink

    I go with September to November as autumn and so on. It’s simple and makes December the first winter month which feels right to me.

  3. dearieme September 21, 2012 at 22:55 Permalink

    All talk of “official” seasons is fascistic crap.

  4. ubermouth September 22, 2012 at 00:05 Permalink

    LOL @ dearie me!

    I consider November-at least half way through- winter,but then in Ontario, Canada[where I lived many yrs] we were buried in snow up to our eyeballs in October.

    Autumn is my favourite time of year.

  5. Steve Hayes September 23, 2012 at 20:32 Permalink

    As a child I used to think that the solsticies and equinoxes were in the middle of the season. After all, we spoke of midsummer (21 December) and mid-winter (21 June), so I thought May-July was winter, and spring started on 1 August.

    Then i got to high school and learnt the definitions you have above, but they don’t feel right.

    But our mulberry tree begins to show its leaf buds on 20 August without fail, and by 22 August you can see the green from the gate. So that’s the real beginning of spring. And it lasts till the jacarandas finish blooming about 20 November.

    Yoiu may tell the trees that spring is some other time, but they won’t listen.

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