Weather Blog: Happy First Day Of (Meteorological) Winter!

Weather Blog

Snow covered cars at Bud Walton Arena after the February 9, 2011 snow storm. Image: Hannah Anderson

Snowman from a January 2018 snowstorm in Bella Vista. Image: Angela & Elaina Whiting

Winter is here, well at least meteorologically speaking that is. Today marks the first day of meteorological winter as we head into the coldest time of the year.

Meteorological seasons are slightly different from the traditional astronomical seasons we are all used to. Instead of being based on the Earth’s position relative to the sun, meteorological seasons use climatology.

The start and end dates for the astronomical seasons can vary from year to year and this can impact seasonal records. To keep seasonal records as consistent as possible, meteorologists define meteorological seasons as the following:

  • Winter = December 1 -> February 28/29
  • Spring = March 1 -> May 31
  • Summer = June 1 -> August 31
  • Fall/Autumn = September 1 -> November 30

Astronomical winter will begin on December 21 when the winter solstice occurs and the northern hemisphere is tilted the farthest from the sun. This is wh

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