June 1 is the start of meteorological summer for those of us North of the equator?
The following has been copied directly from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer.
Summer is a season of the year that is defined as beginning in June, and ending in September in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, summer begins in December and ends in March. Summer is defined by convention in meteorology as the whole months of June, July, and August, in the Northern Hemisphere, and the whole months of December, January, and February, in the Southern Hemisphere. The unofficial start of summer is a matter of convention: in Ireland it is as early as May 1, in many countries it is considered to be June 1, while in others it is as late as July 1. In general, seasonal changes occur earlier in coastal regions, so countries close to the oceans go for an earlier start to summer than inland ones. Summer is commonly viewed as the season with the longest (and warmest) days of the year, in which the daylight predominates, through varying degrees.
For people in the West, the seasons are considered to start at the equinoxes and solstices in an “astronomical” sense. However, because the seasonal lag is less than 1/8 of a year (except near large bodies of water), the “meteorological” start of the season precedes, by about three weeks, the start of the “astronomical” season. This time differential keeps the “meteorological” definition more symmetrically centered around the warmest part of the year than the “astronomical one” is. Today, the “meteorological” definition is gaining momentum, but the “astronomical” definition is more frequent, and most people today still regard it as “official”. In fact, the equinoxes and solstices of the astronomical seasons are considered to be the naturally official beginnings of seasons. The astronomical seasons still appear on most calendars. Elsewhere, however, the solstices and the equinoxes are taken to mark the mid-points, not the beginning, of the seasons. In Chinese astronomy, for example, summer starts on or around May 6, with the jiéqì (solar term) known as Lixia (立夏), i.e. “establishment of summer”.
In Southern and Southeast Asia where the monsoon occurs, summer is more generally defined as March to May or early June, their warmest time of the year, ending with the onset of the monsoon rains.
In most countries children are out of school during this time of year, although dates vary. Some begin as early as mid-May, although in England, from the ages of 5-16, school ends in the middle of July. In the Southern Hemisphere, school holiday dates include the major holidays of Christmas and New Year’s Day. Summer school holidays in Australia begin a few days before Christmas and end in late January to mid-February, with the dates varying from state to state.
Summer is also the season in which many fruits, vegetables, and other plants are in full growth. Ripe blueberries, bright red strawberries, fresh squash. Ahhh….the fruits of summer. To me, they are most notably one of the best parts of the season. Beyond the fruits of nature, summer also consist of many outdoor activities such as practicing yoga in the sun, reading books under a tree’s shade, grilling with friends and late evening runs or walks. Whatever it is you do, get out and enjoy the Summer.
If you didn’t already figure it out, everything except the first sentence in the last paragraph was my two cents 🙂
Happy June, Happy Summer!