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Old 03-25-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
4,933 posts, read 2,335,437 times
Reputation: 1681
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
To repeat, your idea of spring is subjective. Mine is too, but at least mine has spring with temperatures in between summer and winter. Snow and hard freezes would delay the onset of spring in the sense of budding to full plant growth.
It's a continental versus maritime difference in terms of our conceptualization. We think of different kinds of spring, yours is "stable temperatures in between summer and winter" (maritime), and mine is "winter-like conditions diminishing in frequency and intensity and summer like-conditions increasing in frequency and intensity" (continental). Mine is more like Spring in reality as being a transition season, from with mud season to blooming, whereas yours is less distinct and is pretty much summer-like, with stable warm temperatures. I said this point in a prior thread: if all you have in a transition from winter to summer are summer-like conditions with an absence of winter-like conditions, where's the transition? Snow and (hard) freezes are as much a part of Spring as warmth and sunshine. Of course your concept of Spring isn't exactly summer-like but it's a less distinct and "weaker" period than mine. It's mostly subjective, though, with the difference primarily being a dissonance between the interior (me) and the coast (you). So let's leave it at that.

Your quote perfectly encapsulates the dissonance:

Quote:
The heat wave conditions, especially for the midwest, were summer like conditions, while a snowstorm and hard freezes would be a return to winter or at least mud season conditions. A return to spring conditions in my mind would be days consistently in the 50s or 60s.
Warmth and sun continuing, with no cold or snow or freezes to speak of, would be a continuation of summer in my mind, considering the early summer-like warmth (or "heat wave"). If there's some colder temperatures, freezes, and snow coming, then that would mean it's still Spring, because we have warm/hot and cool/cold conditions with neither being dominant yet. This ties in to my view of it as being winter gradually yielding to summer, as wintry weather decreases in intensity and frequency and summery weather increases in frequency and intensity.


And Nei, that scale is comical with 7 degrees above normal on the month being purple . This is a prime example of me disparaging relative, sliding scales for weather maps. It would be more appropriate if it was like this:



Now I don't think my map has distinct enough gradations in the temperature gradient, and the cold end of the scale wasn't modified (I'd stretch it, add in more blues and purples), but it accurately conveys the general concept. 7 degrees above normal being in the purple colors? Bah, humbug. Temperature departures like that deserve reds. I may chime in later with a full absolute scale, stretching from -20 to +20 on a monthly basis. For a daily basis I'd stretch my scale from -70 to +70 to be on the safe side. That should cover any conceivable temperature departure (for instance Denver having a high of -10 Fahrenheit in February would have a departure of -57, and New Orleans being at 10F would be -55).
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
1,712 posts, read 1,353,015 times
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Midwestern Anomaly map for March:


And from the past 7 days (wish I knew about these maps earlier so I could get this map at the height of the heat wave):

Last edited by Nivalis; 03-25-2012 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
504 posts, read 208,755 times
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After 2 weeks of record breaking warm weather, it looks like we're finally getting some cooler weather. The high's supposed to be 48 here tomorrow and Tuesday, and only 23 tomorrow night The forecast says that it won't be any warmer than 60 for the next 7 days.

This was the warmest March and earliest spring I have ever experienced. I have never seen most of the flowers bloom and the grass turn green in March before until now. Still can hardly believe how long this warm weather lasted, but now back to the reality that it's still March and it can still be cold. Well, atleast it's only a little cool, not anything like the 30 degrees and below that we've seen in previous years.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
25,122 posts, read 11,511,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
Mine is more like Spring in reality as being a transition season, from with mud season to blooming, whereas yours is less distinct and is pretty much summer-like, with stable warm temperatures.
Agree both our distinctions are subjective, but I think my definition is nothing like summer; the temperatures are generally neither winter-like (freezing or subfreezing) or summer-like (very warm to hot; for my climate I'd say highs at least in the mid 70s, more like high 70s). It's not completely stable, it's just that frosts are rare and so are hot (75F + days). My defintion of summer-like is subjective, but appropriate for my climate, other places you could define transition temperatures at other values.

Also, I'm thinking of spring as from the start of blooming to the beginning of consistent heat while yours appears to end at blooming. I think of mud season as much winter as spring.

Quote:
Warmth and sun continuing, with no cold or snow or freezes to speak of, would be a continuation of summer in my mind, considering the early summer-like warmth (or "heat wave").
It sounds like you define a period there's no freezing temperatures as summer-like even if the temperatures don't approach typical summer levels; I think there's a big distinction between the two.

Quote:
And Nei, that scale is comical with 7 degrees above normal on the month being purple . This is a prime example of me disparaging relative, sliding scales for weather maps. It would be more appropriate if it was like this:
I like your map! And agree the scale is more objective, but the original map shows the data much better; there's little point in showing below +4 if nothing is; the original map makes it easier to make distinctions. I think the Midwest maps ought to have a different scale (no need to show 0, but the bottom one needs distinctions above +25) Yours make more sense if the colors are supposed to mean something (red is hot, blue is cold) if the only purpose colors is to show distinctions, than the orignial choice makes more sense.

Also, care to tell how you made it? I'm very curious.

Last edited by nei; 03-25-2012 at 04:27 PM..
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
4,933 posts, read 2,335,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Also, I'm thinking of spring as from the start of blooming to the beginning of consistent heat while yours appears to end at blooming. I think of mud season as much winter as spring.
Actually mine starts when the snowpack melts and ends at the end of blooming. Of course these are just general guidelines. The actual end of spring is when winter-like conditions cease completely and the transitioning is over with.

Quote:
I like your map! And agree the scale is more objective, but the original map shows the data much better; there's little point in showing below +4 if nothing is; the original map makes it easier to make distinctions.
Thanks. I believe my map with the reds show it much better because it indicates it's warmer than normal, rather than implying that 7 degrees above normal is cold. The degrees of red indicate the degree of positive departure - as you said, mine makes more sense if the colors are supposed to mean something (and if they are meaningless what's the point?). Also the scale could be shortened to just show +4 or higher if needed, but they could still use the same coloring, just starting at red.

Quote:
Also, care to tell how you made it? I'm very curious.
Skilled manipulation of Paint.net . Basically I modified the scale by creating new copies of the previous boxes and creating new colors. I also used the same font as the original image. I used the fill tool to fill the different increments.

I agree that the Midwest map, or really any daily anomaly map, needs a lot more colors than + or -25. In fact it should go to at least + or - 50, preferably 70 just to be safe.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
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Nice map!
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:33 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Winter-like conditions (snow, hard freezes) are probably OK (and unavoidable where I live) in the early spring (early to mid March). But they have no place in late March and definitely not in April imo. Early April is usually the peak of the blooming period and hard freezes would just ruin it.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
25,122 posts, read 11,511,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
Actually mine starts when the snowpack melts and ends at the end of blooming. Of course these are just general guidelines. The actual end of spring is when winter-like conditions cease completely and the transitioning is over with.
This seems like it would exclude late spring. End of winter conditions doesn't imply summer conditions are present and it could mean temperatures are much colder than summer and with different weather patterns. Perhaps this is true in many continental climates, but in many places this wouldn't work very well. Unless in your view if no matter the temperatures are, if you can't get winter-like conditions, it's the same as summer to you. You're free to define season any you like but I think that would clash with most people's perceptions. For example, last April in Long Island was like this:

Farmingdale, NY

Looking at the numbers would you call it a summer month or spring month? I'm curious how you'd define it.

Not a single freezing day; the last frost was the 2nd to last day of March, so it wouldn't make all that much sense to say winter conditions were present. Even though no winter conditions were present at the beginning of April, the trees were still bare and many blooms hadn't started yet. The temperatures also had little in common with summer temperatures and neither did the weather patterns.

Quote:
Thanks. I believe my map with the reds show it much better because it indicates it's warmer than normal, rather than implying that 7 degrees above normal is cold.
It's still at the cold range for the data present. I'd want to see a scale that shows the variation in the data best, so I could distinguish easily between +7 and +15. My instinct would be to make the define the cold end as the lowest number in the map and the warm end the highest and use whatever colors to make easiest to see the different levels. Your map is interesting, but it's harder to tell what places got the bigger anomalies.

I also need to play with paint.net.

Last edited by nei; 03-25-2012 at 11:30 PM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Ugh, it's just like Florida with all these midges flying about.. my friend down south killed a mosquito.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
4,933 posts, read 2,335,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
This seems like it would exclude late spring. End of winter conditions doesn't imply summer conditions are present and it could mean temperatures are much colder than summer and with different weather patterns. Perhaps this is true in many continental climates, but in many places this wouldn't work very well. Unless in your view if no matter the temperatures are, if you can't get winter-like conditions, it's the same as summer to you. You're free to define season any you like but I think that would clash with most people's perceptions. For example, last April in Long Island was like this:

Farmingdale, NY

Looking at the numbers would you call it a summer month or spring month? I'm curious how you'd define it.
I'd call it a Spring month myself, because they had a few 40's for high temperatures. The Spring-like weather seems weak due to the lack of variation, and thus it's not a good example, but it's still there. "Winter-like" conditions in this context can mean any chilly day or period, which would qualify as the weaker, less frequent variations as Spring draws to a close and Summer begins (a weak cooldown). I don't define summer as according to the hottest period of a certain climatic region - I don't operate via relative standards. Summer begins when the swings and transitions of Spring stops and warmth/heat become dominant. This also roughly coincides to when vegetation overall takes on summer leaf and a summery appearance, at least in a climate somewhat like yours or Alberta's.

Quote:
Not a single freezing day; the last frost was the 2nd to last day of March, so it wouldn't make all that much sense to say winter conditions were present. Even though no winter conditions were present at the beginning of April, the trees were still bare and many blooms hadn't started yet. The temperatures also had little in common with summer temperatures and neither did the weather patterns.
Those aren't wintry conditions, no, but it qualifies in this context seeing as there were some 40's for highs, i.e. a chilly period. This is a much weaker but still present "winter-like" variation, which ties in with it diminishing in frequency and intensity as time progresses. When the warmth/heat becomes dominant, then Spring stops. The example you gave is poor and weak due to the moderate, unvariating, indistinct weather, but it still qualifies. I'd describe it as "late Spring" myself.

A high below 50 Fahrenheit qualifies as a Spring cool spell (or "winter-like" variation) in my seasonal scheme, and Summer begins during the first three consecutive days that 70F is reached after the last sub-50F high. So I suppose there would be a lag time, or limbo, if the period between these events is lengthy. It would be sort of in-between Spring and Summer and I suppose if it goes on for a long time I would declare the season's advent based on vegetation. But it is more of a "lag period" than Spring and I wouldn't consider it a real Spring.

Looking to the next month in Farmingdale I see that the first 3-day streak of 70+ Fahrenheit after those last 40's for highs started on May 24. So it appears that Farmingdale was in an extended limbo, for about a month. While under my system, it would still qualify as Spring, until the conditions for Summer are met, I would consider that period to be a sort of late Spring/early Summer hybrid, especially considering that there were many very warm days. So it's on the cusp when it comes to mid to late May. I'd consider it more Summer than Spring, though, given the lack of any sort of a chill. In any case my system is most in sync with the continental climates of the interior, but these places have the most prototypical spring anyway (you will disagree but this is my system after all ). However it also works with more maritime climates, although to a lesser extent.

In case you're curious May 2011 in Farmingdale has the appearance of a Summer month to me, if only a weak one in the early to middle portion. April 2011 looks like late Spring to me.

What most people define as late Spring is more of a Summer phenomenon to me, and at the root of most of it is a feeble attempt to shoehorn real seasons into a relativist mold, thinking that early Summer in most of the hot climates of the U.S. is a Spring month just because it isn't the hottest it gets in the course of a year. It's the same with Autumn. A more extreme example is for 80's for highs and 40's/50's for lows in the South being falsely considered Autumn weather. That's just insane, and this insanity doesn't seem to operate as much in northern climates, where long winters are an acknowledged fact of life. Of course there's still some stretching done to Autumn and Spring but not to the extent it's done to accommodate heat for some reason.

To get back to the original subject, what you describe as late Spring cannot be a Spring to me because there is no transitioning going on. Since Spring is at its very core a transition season, if there's no transitioning going on between winter and summer, it cannot be Spring. If there's no variability and warmth is dominant, that sounds like Summer to me. To be sure perhaps not as intense a form as June through August, but Summer just the same. If you have something like Torshavn or Reykjavik, then that's something different when it comes to the warmth question, and they don't get any really chilly weather, but that's not what we're talking about here - we're talking about warmth-and-heat-dominated periods somehow being considered Spring.


In case anyone is curious, I'd technically define seasons as follows:

End autumn, Begin winter: 7 consecutive days of daily means freezing or below
End winter, Begin spring: 7 consecutive days of daily means above freezing
End spring, Begin summer: 3 consecutive of 70F or more occurring after the last sub-50 high temperature
End summer, Begin autumn: Sub-50 high temperature occuring after the last streak of 3 consecutive days of 70F or higher
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