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Meteorology (Weather)/How seasons are determined

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Question
I live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and we're in the Southern Hemisphere, therefore Summer is from December to February, Autumn is March to May, Winter June to August and Spring is September to November. I understand that seasons are determined by the tilt on the Earth's axis and the amount of daylight and the seasons are closely in-line with the Solstices and Equinoxes. One thing about this measure of determining the seasons seems contradictory to me; June to August are considered winter as the Winter Soltice falls on approximately 21 June each year, however, May has slightly less daylight overall than August does, yet August is still considered Winter and may is only Autumn. I understand that this is because May hasn't reached the shortest day of the year yet, but August has slightly more daylight overall than May. You can tell that August is slightly colder than May, not as cold as June and July though, but I was just wondering if you would have the answer how else the seasons are determined, I thought they were determined primarily by the hours of daylight per day in each month. Thanks.

Answer
Hi Mark

You are not alone in your quest for a better understanding about seasons!

Take a look at these links below, they should clarify it for you:

http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/seasons.html

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fsd/?n=season  

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Donald Rosenfeld

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Any questions (except private) answered from the 1st grade level on up pertaining to any aspect of Weather. I am a 20 year member of the American Meteorological society and a long time forecaster of eastern United States snow storms and Hurricanes.

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