Weather Academy: Seasons

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:15 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Happy first day of summer. There’s no perfect time than now to talk about the reason for the seasons.

The big reason is due to the fact that the earth spins on a tilted axis and that is with respect to its orbital plane. This gives us spring, summer fall as well as winter. Now there are two times when the sun is directly over the equator. That is the beginning of spring, which usually starts around March 20, and also the beginning of fall, which typically starts around September 22. When the sun is directly over the equator, what that means is that everywhere on Earth is getting equal amounts of daylight. So you will see 12 hours of daylight up in the Arctic Circle, even along the equator and as far south as the entire Arctic Circle, but it’s a little bit different once we get into summer.

During the summer, the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. What this means is that we have longer days here in the northern hemisphere and shorter days in the southern hemisphere. So when you break it down by daylight, we see the most amount of daylight up in the arctic circle equal amounts in the equator in no daylight at all down towards the Antarctic Circle.

Now it is a flip flop for winter, we usually have shorter days here in the northern hemisphere, and longer days in the southern hemisphere, and that is because the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn December, typically around the 21st is when we see winter begin. What this means is that all of the daylight is focused down towards the Antarctic Circle equal amounts of daylight along the equator and you don’t see much daylight, if any at all along the Arctic Circle.

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