Post Reply  
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Yesterday, 14:33   #1
hatrickpatrick
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 17,246
The debate over meteorological vs cultural seasons has leaked into the mainstream...

Given the annual Weather forum debate which arises over meteorological seasons or cultural seasons inherited from Celtic tradition, particularly when it comes to defining November and February's position within the seasons, I thought ye would probably find it a bit of craic to peruse the developing debate in the comments section on the poll The Journal are doing about whether one defines seasons based on meteorological definitions or the anchors of solstices and equinoxes.

For those somehow unfamiliar with the debate, to summarise, the meteorological seasons are defined based on weather patterns, while the Celtic ones are defined based on hours of sunlight. Because there's a lag of roughly one month between the changing of the Earth's position and its effects downstream on the climate, the Celtic seasons each begin one month earlier than the meteorological seasons.

This causes annual confusion and consternation - particularly when an upcoming major weather event, such as a big freeze in winter or a heatwave in summer, causes an influx of folks who otherwise wouldn't generally browse weather forums or know about weather related terms.

I imagine this is not helped by the fact that there seems, based on observing this debate over the years, to be a fairly random divide between which version of the seasons people were taught in primary school - whether this correlates with one generation vs another, as in the curriculum switches from one definition to another at some stage, or is more based on teachers' own informal bias in which version they teach, I have no idea.

So far, meteorological vs Celtic seasons are more or less neck-and-neck in terms of popularity in the poll.

Have fun, and more importantly, behave yourselves!

https://www.thejournal.ie/poll-marti...62501-Feb2021/

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN said no consideration will be given to opening hospitality until mid-summer, citing concern about uncertainties surrounding new variants of coronavirus and high numbers of infections.
The weekend announcement left those in the hospitality industry disappointed, while others questioned what Martin might have meant by the ‘middle of summer’.

According to the Irish calendar, summer starts on 1 May and ends 31 July – with the summer solstice falling on 21 June. However, according to Met Éireann, summer is, in fact, the months of June, July and August – as these are the warmest months of the year.

That definition is in line with most European institutes’ definition of summer and with what the World Meteorological Organisation says, but we all have our own gauge of the year (or at least we used to).

So today we’re asking: When do you think the middle of summer is?
hatrickpatrick is offline  
(2) thanks from:
Advertisement
Yesterday, 14:42   #2
Tyrone212
Registered User
 
Tyrone212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 398
Midsummer to me would be July. July 5th-25th to be more specific.
Tyrone212 is offline  
Yesterday, 14:47   #3
DOCARCH
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 14,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatrickpatrick View Post
[i]TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN said no consideration will be given to opening hospitality until mid-summer, citing concern about uncertainties surrounding new variants of coronavirus and high numbers of infections.
The weekend announcement left those in the hospitality industry disappointed, while others questioned what Martin might have meant by the ‘middle of summer’.
Literally just back at keyboard after having same discussion with my wife!!!

We are hedging bets on booking something for June 28th.

Discussion was along lines that Micheal, especially being from Cork (St. John's Eve, etc.) and being a teacher, must mean mid summer as being June 21st....so we should be o.k.!
DOCARCH is online now  
Yesterday, 15:01   #4
riffmongous
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10,795
Personally I prefer the Celtic system, it's not just about light but the trends that it drives, such as the phenology, and while meteorologically Aug and Feb may be warmer/colder resp. on average, by the 2nd half of the month it's usually very clearly the next season as the temperature trendh has also changed

Last edited by riffmongous; Yesterday at 15:06.
riffmongous is offline  
Yesterday, 15:09   #5
The_Kew_Tour
Registered User
 
The_Kew_Tour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 31,498
I know I'm kinda weird but in my head

Winter is November-February
Spring March-April
Summer May-August
Autumn September-October

I'm not saying we get 4 great summer months I think it's more got do with long evenings etc.

But that's just in my head, I'm no expert.
The_Kew_Tour is offline  
Advertisement
Yesterday, 15:23   #6
odyssey06
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 9,777
It's not neat but to me things are out by about two weeks.

Winter is mid-November to mid-February.
Spring is mid-February to mid-May.
Summer is mid-May to mid-August.
Autumn is mid-August to mid-November.

If I had to pick one set of months, I would go with Met Eireann's listing and base it on temperature not daylight.
odyssey06 is offline  
Thanks from:
Yesterday, 15:30   #7
meeeeh
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 11,064
I love to argue this topic. Where I come from Spring starts on equinox in March to longest day in June. Summer is till equinox in September and winter starts on shortest day of the year. Whatever about meteorological calendar the Celtic one is utterly wrong.
meeeeh is online now  
Yesterday, 15:36   #8
Alun
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 19,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kew_Tour View Post
I know I'm kinda weird but in my head

Winter is November-February
Spring March-April
Summer May-August
Autumn September-October

I'm not saying we get 4 great summer months I think it's more got do with long evenings etc.

But that's just in my head, I'm no expert.
I agree. There's nothing that says each season has to be 3 months long.
Alun is offline  
(2) thanks from:
Today, 00:03   #9
hatrickpatrick
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 17,246
I think where I break most stringly with meteorology is having Winter begin at the very beginning of November as opposed to December, simply because with the clocks going back on Halloween weekend, November feels like an extremely rapid and jarring descent into colder, longer nights. Obviously that's kinda artificial - I wonder if I'd still feel the same if we adopted the EU proposal of abolishing clock changes!
hatrickpatrick is offline  
Thanks from:
Advertisement
Today, 21:15   #10
M.T. Cranium
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 11,789
Here's yet another paradigm, the four seasons if you wanted to use warmest and coldest quarters of the year would come out close to this ...

Winter 15 Dec to 14 Feb

Spring 15 Feb to 14 June

Summer 15 June to 14 September

Autumn 15 September to 14 December

Those are not exact intervals, you could go 12 to 11 or 13 to 12, or 14 to 13 and be roughly as close to confining the warmest and coldest quarters. The old-fashioned "astronomical" seasons closer to 21st for boundaries are not that far off these more statistically driven versions. It was when people started to notice the shift in dates in the Middle Ages that pressure mounted to adjust the calendar.

If winter is defined as a season with lying snow and summer a season of fully leaved deciduous trees, then in Ontario the seasons would be roughly late Nov to early April for winter, and mid-May to early October for summer. This is how society responds to the "seasonal" reality there and spring and autumn are thought of as shorter intervals of transition. The cooler weather that might set in during September would be "the first signs of autumn" but those are averages of considerably variable data points. In BC where I now live, the four seasons are more distinct and probably similar to what you observe in Ireland in lower elevations of BC, up in the mountains where I live, winter is definitely about six months long (early Nov to early Apr) and summer barely three (most years not really established until early July and gone by mid-Sept).
M.T. Cranium is offline  
Thanks from:
Today, 21:49   #11
fvp4
Registered User
 
fvp4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by meeeeh View Post
I love to argue this topic. Where I come from Spring starts on equinox in March to longest day in June. Summer is till equinox in September and winter starts on shortest day of the year. Whatever about meteorological calendar the Celtic one is utterly wrong.
No that’s the worst system by far. Winter starts as the days get longer, and summer starts as the days get shorter.
fvp4 is offline  
Today, 22:04   #12
fvp4
Registered User
 
fvp4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 624
I agree with MT that seasons are different in different countries, and with Kew that we have 4 summer(ish) months, 4 winter(ish) months and two other short seasons.

One thing though, it isn’t just the Celts who have traditionally seen ~June 21 as mid summer. All mid summer festivities in Europe and many other northern hemisphere countries are around that day. It was Christianised as St John’s day (the 24th).

In fact it’s a bigger day that here in most cases. A list is here.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer

Obviously our ancestors weren’t able to tell the difference between a month with average temp 10c and another with average 8c. Not that they had months. Telling when the sun was at solstice they could do.
fvp4 is offline  
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet