First Day of Spring? Really?

Today, September 1st, is considered the first day of spring here in Australia. All that planetary orbit stuff I learned at school then was a waste of time eh?

Equinoxes

The real spring should start between September 21st and 23rd – can’t remember why it varies now but apparently it does. That would be the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere. Similarly the autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere would be March 21st – officially first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. 

So astronomically speaking today is not really the first day of spring and definitely not the spring equinox.

 Easy to remember…

All that doesn’t matter here in Australia. The first day of September is just easier to remember. Similarly the first day of summer will be December 1st, even though it is really December 22nd – the summer solstice! Seriously that is why those dates are chosen. And to be fair, nobody cares. 

But there’s more…

But there is also another reason. Australia is such a big country – a continent really – and so what goes on weather-wise in far north of Queensland will be very different to say Tasmania. It is not easy to define seasons for such a huge country based on weather patterns. So why not just use the first of the month and everyone will remember?

Alternatively of course why not just educate everyone to know exactly when and why it is spring, summer, autumn and winter…. Shouldn’t that be easy too? I mean, it may be astronomy related but it’s not rocket science is it? I’ll leave it to you to decide…

So as far as people around here are concerned… Spring has sprung. The weather in Sydney this week looks to be improving. Although winter here is not much worse than a typical UK summer. 

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