NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 1st, 2016.
Today signals the start of Summer – that’s the meteorological summer.
Astronomically, seasons change at equinoxes and solstices however, the meteorological seasons are grouped by months.
Astronomical summer begins this year on Jun 21, but for meteorologists, it begins today June 1 , and will last through the end of November.
Here’s what the Met Office says about Meteorological vs. Astronomical seasons.
We often talk about it beginning to feel like summer, or mentioning
When we talk about the beginning of summer or any other season, we are usually talking about the day in our calendars that mark this date. This usually refers to the astronomical seasons which are a result of the Earth’s axis and orbit around the sun. However, at the Met Office we often use a meteorological definition of the seasons.
The meteorological summer will begin on 01 June 2016 and ends on 31 August 2016.
The meteorological seasons consists of splitting the seasons into four periods made up of three months each. These seasons are split to coincide with our Gregorian calendar making it easier for meteorological observing and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics. By the meteorological calendar, spring starts on 1 March.
The seasons are defined as Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), Autumn (September, October, November) and Winter (December, January, February).
This year, the astronomical summer begins on 21 June 2016 and ends on 21 September 2016.
The astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. Both equinoxes and solstices are related to the Earth’s orbit around the sun.