Posts Tagged ‘climatological winter’

Which Winter Is It?

Thursday, December 16th, 2010
The winter solstice, occurring this year on December 21,  marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year and is the astronomical beginning of winter. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word “solstice,” which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, “sun” and -stitium, “a stoppage.” Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter. But for many people who have been experiencing cold temperatures, biting winds, and even frost or snow for several weeks now, winter began much earlier. That would be the start of the meteorological winter, a method of measuring the season based on “sensible weather patterns” for the purposes of record keeping. Also referred to as “climatological winter,” it began on December 1 and runs through the end of February. Then there is the ecological winter, generally defined as the end of the growing season. That date will vary by location.

Which winter is it where you live?

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