By Konstantin Bikos and Aparna Kher. When do spring, summer, fall, and winter start and end? It depends on which definition you use and if you are north or south of the equator. The Earth's axis is slightly tilted in relation to its orbit around the Sun. This is why we have seasons. In most cultures, including all western countries, the year is commonly divided into four seasons:. Since the year has 12 months , each season lasts about three months. However, the dates when the seasons begin and end vary depending on whom you ask.
Frequently Asked Questions
But what caused Earth to tilt?
Many people believe that Earth is closer to the sun in the summer and that is why it is hotter. And, likewise, they think Earth is farthest from the sun in the winter. It is true that Earth's orbit is not a perfect circle. It is a bit lop-sided. During part of the year, Earth is closer to the sun than at other times. However, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are having winter when Earth is closest to the sun and summer when it is farthest away! Compared with how far away the sun is, this change in Earth's distance throughout the year does not make much difference to our weather.
It's all about Earth's tilt!
For countries in the Southern Hemisphere such as Australia, pictured above , summer stretches from December through February. Summer, with its long days and warm evenings, is all about relaxing and enjoying life outdoors. Surf, sun, and great coffee—what more could you want from a winter getaway? New South Wales, a southeastern Australian state known for its coastal cities and lush national parks, offers all of that and more.
This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. Powered by. A season is a period of the year that is distinguished by special climate conditions. The four seasons—spring, summer , fall, and winter —follow one another regularly. Each has its own light, temperature , and weather patterns that repeat yearly. In the Northern Hemisphere , winter generally begins on December 21 or This is the winter solstice , the day of the year with the shortest period of daylight. Summer begins on June 20 or 21, the summer solstice , which has the most daylight of any day in the year. Spring and fall, or autumn, begin on equinoxes, days that have equal amounts of daylight and darkness.