Regional Seasons

Having just entered Spring (by date) and Summer (by weather) simultaneously, I have only now come to realize how silly it is that we keep an accepted standard of four equal seasons.  Truth be told, having grown up in California, I have always known this standard as silly, and yet somehow I didn’t realize it until I moved to the Great Sweaty Crotch of the USA.  There is a subtle difference between knowledge and realization.

Sure, it might have once been useful to group the year into four categories based on the length of the day and the position of the sun, but sadly we no longer use folk astronomy to plan our harvests and festivals, thus our modern seasons serve solely as an indication of what weather to expect (and hence, which clothes are on sale at Macy’s [or Walmart]).

This, we know:

Winter - cold and snowy
Spring - comfortable and bloomy
Summer - hot and lively
Autumn – cool and vibrant

…and somehow we accept this, as if it’s even remotely applicable to anywhere outside of the Midwest.  I have never had a snowy winter anywhere I’ve lived.  My autumns are usually shockingly hot, and my springs usually last around two or three weeks.  All in all, the standard Four-Even-Seasons model could not be a less accurate representation of my realities.

For instance, San Francisco has two seasons: the season of 60 degree weather and the season of 63 degree weather.  Lest we not forget microclimates, San Jose (a mere hour south) has five whole seasons (see below) in stark contrast to San Francisco’s two.  And of course, some seasons are longer and some are shorter.  The Texan Winter, for instance, is really just that one lone day of the year people wear jackets.

Thus, in an effort to celebrate the unique geographical and meteorological differences between various regions of the USA, I propose redefining seasons to be unique to each individual area.  Here are my proposals for the places with which I’m familiar…

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About Jeffrey Hayman

Not actually a real doctor. Just another bonehead with an internet connection. I also really like ducks. Like... REALLY like ducks. It's kind of unhealthy.
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14 Responses to Regional Seasons

  1. Ha! So funny, and so true! I’ve lived in Pacific Grove off and on for like twenty five years, and I still look forward to summer, somehow forgetting that it’s the coldest, foggiest time of year around here. We get a couple of awesome weeks in September and October. The rest of the time, it’s anybody’s guess- just dress in layers, to be safe.

  2. LOL @ The Great Sweaty Crotch of the USA. There’s a MUDSLIDE season in LA? I’ve always been really fascinated by desert climates. I remember a trip to Phoenix in January and it was dry and hot. A few hours drive to Sedona and it was almost freezing!

    In Toronto, we like to say that we have 2 seasons: winter (October-May) and construction (June-September). But it’s warmed up a lot in the last few years – further proof of global warming.

    • Doctor Quack says:

      The mudslides usually happen in the hills after a good season of wildfire (because the fire destroys the plants holding the earth together.

      And about deserts, I think they’re a lot more interesting than most people give them credit for being.

  3. Drew says:

    As a San Jose native and having lived in the LA/Riverside area, I support these assertions!

  4. thelooker23 says:

    New Jersey’s seasons are just random. One year, it’ll snow for half of the year and be abnormally hot the rest of the year. The next year, it’ll snow in october (this HAPPENED this year), be weirdly warm during the winter, be cold for a few weeks in march, and then just be weird throughout the summer.

  5. ptigris213 says:

    I have one for Olympia, WA, about two hours drive south of Seattle:
    1 Jan to July 5th- cold rain
    6 July: Sunny and warm (high of 65!). Everyone brings their children out to see the sun so that they can say that, once, when they were a kid, they saw the sun.
    Then we sacrifice a goat to make it go away. Works every time.
    7 July to September-cool rain.
    September to Dec 31:cold rain, warm snow,high winds, power failures,ice, rain.

  6. Having moved from Jacksonville, Florida I remember two seasons: summer – 100 degrees with daily afternoon rain, and winter – 70 degrees.

  7. aver1 says:

    Damn you’re funny! i live in Pa, so we are fortunate enough to have seasons. i don’t think that i could live somewhere without four seasons. my whole lifestyle and mood seem to be determined by them..

  8. blogattack says:

    I live in the middle of the Midwest – Wisconsin – and I think everyone needs to know that we actually only have two seasons: “are we sure this isn’t Alaska” and “Oh good, construction is everywhere”.

  9. wakeupami says:

    I do believe “The Season of The Sun Raping Everyone in the Butt for Six Months” is more accurate. I’d submit this to the Austin Mayor. I’d vote for that.

    • Doctor Quack says:

      It seems as though Austin is merely teasing us though. Surely when we reached the mid-80s recently, it was foretelling an April of unrestrained doom. But apparently the sun is only interested in flirting with us right now.

      Although, this is my first spring in Austin. I have yet to find out when exactly the sun chooses to go in for the kill.

      • wakeupami says:

        It’ll be kind of like October, but in reverse.

        October 1-30th: Pleasant. October 31st: FREEZING.
        April 1-29th: Lovely. April 30th: DEATH.

        Then death continuously for the next 6 months.

  10. kitchenmudge says:

    The “four seasons” archetype applies to much of north-western Europe and the northern part of the eastern seabord, exending into the northern half of the 48 states until you get to the Rockies. For other areas, your graphs are roughly accurate. I can vouch for the one of Los Angeles. But we also like to say that, in LA, we have four seasons: drought, fire, flood, and earthquake.

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