Wonder Wednesday: Seasons

Weather
All four seasons with one tree. Picture courtesy of flickr.com.

Most of us are familiar with the basic four seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall, and winter. But what causes the seasons? The answer is simple, but it might not be what you would expect. Seasons on our planet are caused by the tilting of the axis. That simple, yet still affected to give us definition of seasons.

Starting with spring, which is in March for the Northern Hemisphere, and in September for the Southern Hemisphere. This is when we start to see plants bloom with buds and leaves. We also enter a time of year when we have more sunshine than darkness, which helps with the warming process. The spring equinox, which occurs March 21, is the time of year when the amount of time for day and night are the same (roughly 12 hours each).

Heading into summer, we have our warmest temperatures for each respected area. Summer starts in June for the north and December for the south. Plants and trees are typically in full bloom at this time with the amount of moisture and heat to help with growth. During the summer months in the north, we are actually the furthest away from the sun, maximizing the amount of sunlight and day time hours we receive (many have a misconception that we are closest to the sun during the summer; quite the opposite actually). The summer solstice typically comes around June, which is the longest day of the year.

Autumn (or fall) starts typically in September for the northern hemisphere, and March for the southern hemisphere. Colder temperatures begin to settle around much of the areas impacted, which helps many plants and wildlife to prepare to the upcoming winter conditions. Leaves will change colors before completely dying and falling off.. The foliage does offer wonderful picture opportunities, and offers a bit of bedding for animals as well. Weather can vary a bit, either staying warmer and providing more rain showers, or getting cooler, and giving frosty conditions, or early snow.

The amount of sunlight on Earth during the Winter Solstice. Picture courtesy of earthsky.org.

Winter comes to the northern hemisphere in December, and starts in June in the south. We are closest to the sun during this month, with the planet not getting as much sunlight (due to the axis tilt). The winter solstice is also in December, which gives us the shortest length of daylight. The closer to the North Pole we go, the less amount of daylight we can expect for this time of year. Winters can be harsh, especially in open plain areas, as stronger wind speeds and snow can create blizzard and white-out conditions.

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Standard Conservation

San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week, no watering between noon and 6 pm. Runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation/report-a-water-violation or calling 325-657-4409. Do your part; be water smart!