Saturday, 30 May 2015

Seasons in Order

Ok, the following blog may be a bit patronising but it is all said with a grin on my face and with no offence meant, BUT
    Does nobody understand how seasons work anymore? Are children not taught about seasons at school now? Let me give anyone in any doubt a quick lesson.
   There are four seasons in the year, at least in the UK and I think most of Europe. I know places further south have different climates and some places have things like the ‘rainy season’, the ‘monsoon season’ and things like that. But I am talking about the standard North European weather pattern here.
   In general each season lasts for three months. Sometimes it feels longer, or shorter, but that is often down to anticipation.
   At one time the start of a season coincided with the Solstice. The summer solstice occurs around the 21st June and the winter solstice around the 21st December, with Spring starting on the 21st March and Autumn the 21st September. Since the Met office poked it’s nose in the seasons have been accredited with starting on the 1st of those months.
   So summer does not start until June, and mid-June at that! It is no surprise that the weather in May is changeable. It is still Spring. It is still working up to summer. Spring is the time when the world gets ready for new crops. We need rain to soak the ground so that crops can grow. The warmer weather encourages new growth and we are treated to a much greener and colourful environment after the bleak, blank days of winter. But it is not summer.
   Summer comes with lengthened days and warmer weather. Like other seasons it lasts for three months and that’s it. Some people, mainly garden centres I think, would like you to think that summer lasts from Easter to Hallowe’en. But it doesn’t. You might get hints of it early in the year; lingering memories of it throughout Autumn, but it is not Summer.
   Having said all that, no one has told Mother Nature these things and sometimes it is quite possible to experience at least three out of four seasons in one day in the UK. Sometimes four out of four! It has been known to snow in June and be nice and warm in December. But don’t expect such things!
   Weather is controlled by elements over which we have absolutely no control. Whether we get a good summer or a cold winter depends entirely on what is happening way above us with the air currents that circulate around the world.
   So remember, keep wrapped up, or at least have an extra layer handy, until the end of May. When June arrives and it is officially Summer, that is the time to start complaining if you are still cold. But nothing is guaranteed, so keep those winter woollies handy just in case.