Who’s ready for Summer? Wednesday, June 1 not only marks the start of June, but also the start of meteorological summer

While the official start to traditional (or astronomical) summer is not until Tuesday, June 21, meteorologists and climatologists will start their record-keeping for the summer season today.

While the traditional (astronomical) seasons are based on the Earth’s position relative to the sun, meteorological seasons are based on climatologically and temperature cycles. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest one is consistent record keeping.

Our traditional seasons can start and end on different days based on the year. This would lead to inconsistent record keeping of weather and climate information.

Another big reason is the temperature cycles. Historically, December-February are the coldest three months of the year and June-August are the warmest. March-May and September-November are the transition months between the two extremes.

Astronomical Summer will begin on the Summer Solstice, which is 4:13 A.M. CDT Tuesday, June 21 this year. This is when the sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer, which is the northernmost extent the sun can be directly overhead on Earth.