[LINK] Could Google be wrong?

Sylvano sylvano at gnomon.com.au
Sun Jun 21 11:47:31 EST 2009

On Sunday 21 June 2009, Andy Farkas wrote:
> Hitting Google today brings up a unique logo - "first day of winter".
> Is Google wrong?

Yes, as Google's own search results asctually tell me.

> Where is an official definition of when Winter starts in Australia?
> The B.O.M. <http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/glossary/spagegl.shtml> vaguely
> refers to "the three coldest months June, July and August".


In Australia, the seasons are defined by grouping the calendar months in the 
following way:

    Spring - the three transition months September, October and November.
    Summer - the three hottest months December, January and February.
    Autumn - the transition months March, April and May.
    Winter - the three coldest months June, July and August. 

These definitions reflect the lag in heating and cooling as the sun appears to 
move southward and northward across the equator. They are also useful for 
compiling and presenting climate-based statistics on time scales such as 
months and seasons. 


Like all countries in the southern hemisphere (the hemisphere south of the 
Equator), Australia's seasons follow the sequence:

    * Summer: December to February
    * Autumn: March to May
    * Winter: June to August
    * Spring: September to November

This means that the Australian Christmas takes place at the height of summer. 
It also means that the mid-year break for students happens in winter. The end 
of year break for students is commonly known as the 'summer holidays', or the 
'Christmas holidays'.

Even though the four 'official' calendar seasons have the same names as the 
northern hemisphere seasons, the weather during these seasons is very 
different to northern hemisphere weather patterns. Australia is generally a 
very dry place, so summers can get much hotter. The pattern of rainfall is 
also distinct - some places have abundant rain at one time of the year and 
almost none at other times. 


Gnomon Publishing

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