In last week’s blog update I once again tried to gin up support for dropping daylight savings time (DST) - because – it makes sense to drop it. Even though society and especially the government is generally resistant to change, this is something that has a chance to end up in the dust bin because there are already states and counties in the U.S. who do not observe DST. Also, Russia displayed some common sense and plans to drop the 1 hour time shift this year and indefinitely into the future.
A more daunting effort for change – yet one that makes even more sense - is the topic of this Monday’s blog post. That is - changing the season’s. Having four distinct seasons marked through the year is just fine. Don’t worry snowmobilers, I am not advocating the removal of Winter from the calendar. Nor do I desire a change in the names of the seasons. What needs to change is the beginning and end time of the seasons. We should base the change of the seasons temperature. After all, the defining characteristic of Summer is that it is the warmest time of the year. The defining characteristic of Winter is that it is the coldest time of year. So why does the calendar say Winter ends on March 20th, when the coldest time of the year is already well past? It is because the calendar date of the first day of Spring is based on the position of the sun in the sky – not upon the weather.
Sticking with temperature – if we wanted to define the coldest quarter of the year as Winter then December, January, and February would fit the bill and March 1st would be the first day of Spring. June 1st would be the first day of Summer and so on. Not only would the marking of the seasons make more sense this way, it would be easier to remember than the astronomical calendar which changes every year. The calendar would say “1st Day of Spring” on March 1st and would say “Spring (or Vernal) Equinox” on March 20th. Easy enough, right? Knowing how ingrained in the human psyche are the movement of the sun and astronomically marked calendar, I doubt there will be any radical change anytime soon. Perhaps we could start out with a small change. How about labeling March 1st as “Climatological Spring” and March 20th as “Astronomical Spring”. If this change were to take place, after a while, people might start asking why March 20th is “Spring” if it has little to do with the weather. What do you think? A lost cause?
Enjoy the last day of Winter. Tomorrow it will be Spring! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
Posted under Seasonal Items
This post was written by jloew on February 28, 2011