Wednesday, December 21, 2005


So, when's the first day of Winter?

December 21st?

Why do you say that?

Oh, because everyone else says so. Well, I don't.

First, who says it's the day of the solstice? Who says it's December 21st?

Your calendar? Are they the same clowns that call the third Monday in February "Presidents Day?" Well, there you go. That's actually Washington's Birthday, not Presidents Day. So that silly little calendar isn't reliable. So, throw that out. Now, what's your authority for December 21st as the first day of Winter?

The guy on the news said so? He's a talking head. He'll say whatever's written down.

There is no Department of Seasons or a Weather Czar or anything like that. Winter is defined when people say it is, to a large degree. So, if everyone decided Winter started on July 4th, that's when it starts. But that's silly.

Let's think serious about it for a minute.

What is Winter? Can we agree that it's the season of the year when the days are the shortest and the temperature is the coldest?

Well, that doesn't correspond to December 21-March 21. The period of shortest days are about 45 days on either side of December 21st. Think about it. December 21st is the shortest day of the year. So the 45 days on either side are the days of least daylight.

But what about temperature? Now, the earth warms up and cools off slowly. Which means that, while the period of least daylight begins about November 5 or 6, the coolest days are the 90 day period that start about 3-4 weeks later. Roughly, the first part of December is the first day of Winter. And it runs for, say, three months. One quarter of the year. So Winter runs December, January, and February.

It starts December 1. Not the 21st.

And let's go one step further. Winter is a period of a type of weather, isn't it? I mean, shorter days and colder temperatures, right? Weather.

So, what to the weather gurus say? NOAA says Winter starts December 1 and runs all of December, January, and February.

But that's meteorological weather, you say? Well, is there any other kind?

So I say again. Today isn't the first full day of Winter. It's the 22nd.

Unless, of course, you live in temperate climate areas. Or the Southern Hemisphere.

In that case, never mind.


  1. Do they actually have winter in the Kingdom of Chatham?

  2. Michael:
    Not really. But it's as close to Winter as anywhere in South Georgia gets.

    Maybe a little. I've had ice on the windshield for days and someone decides to tell me it's just now Winter? Nah.

  3. All "winter" means to me is you don't sweat so much while doing yard work.

  4. Shirtsleeves, Christmas 1975 in Hinesville.
    22 years ago today it was 13 BELOW in Parkersburg, WV. I know this because our eldest son was born that day (at 2 am)
    (I was born on the hottest Sept. 1 in the history of Cleveland -- 100)

  5. [...] There be mediocrity all over the blogidohexiweb. Tammi hates these mieces to pieces. The Commisar is under attack. I blame the Mighty Morphin' Pajama Rangers. Velociman wonders what it tastes like. Preston Taylor Holmes presents us with another great gift for the holiday season. It's Monopoly: Eminent Domain Special Edition! shank says don't be a dick. Steve H. 'spains Male Slut Syndrome. Dan tapped Maureen Dowd (I sure hope he wore protection). Hubris explains blogging. basil says it's winter, maybe or not. by Phineous T. Goldphish @ 3:59 pm. [...]

  6. Um, actually the first day of winter is on December 22nd, not 21st.

  7. Since you're so good with a calendar, have you tried looking at the year?


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