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Old 02-15-2012, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
Regarding the Latin American seasons, I wonder if this has any connection the way the Spanish or Portuguese back in the Old World, familiar with the Mediterranean climate conception of dry summer, wet winter, re-applied their conception of season names in the New World.
Most Mediterranean climates in Europe have four seasons though, especially cities like Madrid.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
I'm happy with March 1 - May 31 being the boundaries of spring here but when I hear people referring to 'winter' in places like Miami or Brisbane the idea of a language having words for four distinct seasons with defined start/end dates is very biased towards mid- and higher latitude climates - I'm sure if the English language and the science of meteorology had developed in the tropics and spread to the more temperate regions then the names and concepts of seasons would be completely different and wouldn't fit well with the climate somewhere like England. I'd be interested to know what words a language like Swahili has to describe the seasons in a climate like those known by its speakers.
Thinking back to the discussion earlier in the thread with some posters saying how for a place to have a "real" spring season, there has to be period of cold, winter dormancy for at least some time for the vegetation to break out of, there might be something to that, considering the English words spring and fall (in North American English) themselves imply features about the event of going in and out of dormancy for plants (the springing out of new growth/leaf fall) rather than weather/meteorology per se, before they became formalized for the meteorological or technical sense.

I'd imagine marking a year by plant growth and other natural events would have be a big deal for some peoples/languages in history, in shaping how their culture boxed the year into individual "seasons".

I recall reading about how even in English, summer and winter were more primary, fundamental season terms -- hot and cold seasons, relatively unchanged from proto-Germanic roots, while the terms/descriptions for the transition seasons varied more throughout time including borrowings, and connotations with agriculture (lenten, vernal, harvest, leaf-fall etc.) before they became standardized relatively recently in Modern English.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:22 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
It is, but again this is in a language not native to that climate. I don't know for sure but I'd imagine the words for summer and winter in the native languages of the area translate more closely to 'dry' and 'wet' than anything with hot/cold connotations.
I suspect some Latin Americans from equatorial climates have little conception of temperate climates or the climates where the words originated from. To the point where invierno / verano has only wet/dry connotations and not hot/cold ones.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Buxton, England
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In Buxton; early spring 45°F, late spring 55°F, typical maximum temperatures.

For myself, a better definition would be 60°F, calm and sunny for early spring, and 70°F for late spring.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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It depends where. In SoCal, usually early spring is overcast and in the 60sF, 50sF at night. Late spring here is lower 70sF, low-mid 60sF at night. Early summer is mid-upper 70sF, still around 65F at night.

I used to live in DC though. Early spring would be 45-56F during the day, 30s-40sF at night. Late spring would be 65F-75F, 55-63F at night, a bit more humid as well.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:32 AM
 
Location: New York
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In NYC...45-55F would be early spring, 65-75F would be late spring.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Finland
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I'm replying to a year old posts, but as both posters are still active, why not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
That's interesting, I'm familiar with the use of astronomical and meteorological definitions, but I didn't know that some places actually officially defined any of the four seasons by meeting individual temperature thresholds or events (like, once it passes X days with Y temperature). I guess I'm used to people saying things like "winter's late/early this year", but that always seems to be in day-to-day informal conversation to me rather than anything formal.

Though I'm used to the idea that winter, spring, summer, fall are divisions of the year that are relatively equal in length and fixed in definition, Sweden's definition does seem to me like an exotic way to view things that I haven't though about before. (It's reminding me a bit like other kinds of "seasons" that are called that but vary in length from year to year eg. "frost-free season, maybe wet/dry season in places that have that.)
We use the same criteria, I made a thread about it, and was a bit surprised that very few countries do this. Our meteorological seasons are:
spring = begins when the 24h mean temp is above 0C/32F for seven consecutive days
summer = begins when the 24h mean temp is above 10C/50F for 7 days
autumn = begins after 7 days of a 24h mean temp less than 10C/50F
winter = again, 7 days below freezing
growing season = when the 24h mean temp has been above 5C/41F for 10 days.

The three-month-seasons are referred as 'calendar seasons'.

The seasons can't be reversed, so if the temps fall below freezing in spring for example, it's still spring and not temporarily winter again.

This method is no way very satisfactory, as it makes summers unrealistically long, and springs very short. On average that time is from mid May to late days of September. Raising the temperature threshold to 12.83C or 15C pushes the summer forward, which is not good as well. June is very much summer, and September autumn, at least mentally. Chilly Junes, like last year, can mean that the whole month is a 'spring' month, if using 15C. Examples:

2012
>10C summer: May 19 - Oct 5
>12.83C summer: May 21 - Sep 20
>15C summer: Jul 1 - Sep 6

2011
>10C summer: May 20 - Oct 8
>12.83C summer: May 31 - Sep 27
>15C summer: June 7 - Aug 28

Sounds logical as a theory, but as the seasons can't be reversed, a single 7 day warm spell in May will shift the season, even if it would be some 12C/3C for the next 7 days. Knowing how variable Mays can be in Scandinavia, I can't consider those very summerlike. Like in 2010: a high of 5.5C/42F on May 8, 27.7C/82F on May 15, 10.6C/51F on May 29.
As Patricius said earlier (last year), if it stays warm after the warm spell it should be considered summer, but if turns colder again, it's still spring.

In winter the classification works usually better, as sub-freezing conditions are pretty much guaranteed in early December, so the season often switches when it 'should', and represents the actual conditions outside, not the calendar. In the north November can't be classified as autumn, as there is already a permanent snowpack. The first half of March is classified as winter, and looking out the window, I can't call this spring.
Of course, this classification only works for us, and perhaps western Russia and parts of Canada, in France according to this classification there isn't a meteorological winter at all. Or working somehow, it can be autumn until early January, like in 2011.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
One example I know of a language having a word describing the characteristics of a time of year in their part of the world is the Finnish word 'kaamos' meaning 'darkness' and which is loosely used to describe the dark part of late autumn and early winter when there is darkness but no snow as would be the case later on..
Literally, 'kaamos' means the polar night, but as we don't have one, we have hijacked the word meaning the late autumn-early winter darkness, exactly as you said.


To the actual topic, I consider early spring temperatures that are high enough to be very or extremely rare during the winter, especially in Jan-Feb. This would mean something like 8C/46F during the spring breakup.

Mid-spring temps are those which become common in the latter part of April, some 15C/60F. Trees usually don't have leaves yet, but the snow is melted, the grass turns back to green, and flowers start to bloom.

Late spring is say, May 15 to Jun 7, or something like that. Temps are mostly summerlike, around 20C/68F, but with some chillier and warmer days in-between. Frost-free and the nature is summerlike, but nights can still be chilly.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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When it gets above 10c and stays there for a long time I consider it to be spring. Its still 5c or below everyday so no.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
As Patricius said earlier (last year), if it stays warm after the warm spell it should be considered summer, but if turns colder again, it's still spring.
Looking back on it a year later, it sounds very logical and intuitive. When it's swinging from warmth to cold, it's Spring, but when it's just warmth it's Summer. There's a saying that I made up yesterday: springy is swingy. Cheesy, I know, but why not?
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Finland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
Looking back on it a year later, it sounds very logical and intuitive. When it's swinging from warmth to cold, it's Spring, but when it's just warmth it's Summer. There's a saying that I made up yesterday: springy is swingy. Cheesy, I know, but why not?
I agree, and I don't like rigid classifications as a whole. Say 80F days are temporary summerlike conditions in spring, and those conditions are typical for a spring. As is 35F and snowfall in some areas, temporary winterlike conditions in early spring. No biggie. Springy is swingy sounds good.
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