Astronomical Winter vs. Meteorological Winter


Today is the first day of Meteorological winter which lasts three months. But, it comes almost three weeks before the Astronomical Winter Solstice on December 21st.

National Weather Service office in League City meteorologist Nikki Hathaway explained the difference between the Astronomical Winter and the Meteorological Winter.

“The astronomical season is solely going to be based on the position of the earth and how it’s related to the sun. Now, the Meteorological winter can be based on the annual temperature cycle. So, it’s over a three month period, December 1st being the first day of Meteorological winter.”

The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, starts Thursday, December 21st.

“Strictly the astronomical side of things is going to be based on the position of the earth and how it’s related to the sun. Meteorological seasons, those are based on the annual temperature cycles,” said Hathaway.

 She said the climate prediction center is forecasting above normal temperatures for December, January and February. Expect it to be dryer and warmer in the south.


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