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!
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?