Author Topic: How are you spending the summer solstice?  (Read 55184 times)

Offline brian

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #160 on: June 23, 2019, 04:26:13 pm »
Reminds me that one of our local TV meteorologists has spoken several time of "meteorological seasons." Apparently for whatever reason, meteorologists think of seasons by the calendar months. Winter is December, January, and February,;spring is March, April, and May; summer is June, July, and August; and fall is September, October, and November.
That is what is officially accepted here, newspaper and TV news will say on June 1. "Today is the first day of winter."  In fact this year there was a lot of comment about Winter coming right on time. May 30 was max temp 15'C and I do not think there had been a day when it did not reach 14'C through all of May. Then on May 31 the max was 9'C and June 1st, max 7'C.

Offline brian

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #161 on: June 23, 2019, 04:34:09 pm »
Very sensible times. That's basically how they go here, whatever the calendar says. Schools let out sometime around June 1, give or take, because it's summer. Sometime around Sept. 1, lifeguards leave the beaches, school starts again, and the earlier sunsets and cooler air are abruptly so noticeable it sometimes feels like somebody flipped a switch. Winter starts around Dec. 1 because that's when it tends to get cold-cold, with snow, and holiday shopping has begun. And March 1 only occasionally feels springlike, but at least by then you can expect it any day and a heavy snowfall seems less dire because you know it will melt soon.

Are your cultural/meteorological cues similar but opposite?
I guess similar School summer holidays generally start the week before Christmas but ours are not as long as yours. They generally return to school at the end of January. In Australia it is January 27/28 as January 26 is Australia day public holiday. I think NZ is similar. Our National day is Feb 6 but schools return before then.  Lifeguards usually leave after the Easter 4 day weekend. September 1 is definitely spring in Australia but not here in NZ. As in my last post, this year May was surprisingly warm for the last month of Autumn. In my 10 years here I have known a snowfall in April but the first snowfall this year was June 17.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #162 on: June 24, 2019, 09:16:49 am »
Very sensible times. That's basically how they go here, whatever the calendar says. Schools let out sometime around June 1, give or take, because it's summer. Sometime around Sept. 1, lifeguards leave the beaches, school starts again, and the earlier sunsets and cooler air are abruptly so noticeable it sometimes feels like somebody flipped a switch. Winter starts around Dec. 1 because that's when it tends to get cold-cold, with snow, and holiday shopping has begun. And March 1 only occasionally feels springlike, but at least by then you can expect it any day and a heavy snowfall seems less dire because you know it will melt soon.

Are your cultural/meteorological cues similar but opposite?

"In my day," the schools in the region where I grew up did not open until after Labor Day (first Monday in September in the U.S.), sometimes the very next day. It came as a shock to me when I was in graduate school to learn that schools in Tidewater Virginia opened about the middle of August. On the other end of the school year, summer vacation didn't begin until later in June; I distinctly remember still being in elementary school for Flag Day (June 14). Of course, "back then," my local public schools had a holiday on Good Friday, and sometimes but not always (if I remember correctly) Easter Monday. Those days are gone.

Meanwhile, I sure I read somewhere that the idea of the day of the summer solstice being Midsummer Day was connected to a conception of the year as having only two seasons, winter and summer, but I have been unable to find the reference.  >:(
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #163 on: June 24, 2019, 12:31:22 pm »
Reminds me that one of our local TV meteorologists has spoken several time of "meteorological seasons." Apparently for whatever reason, meteorologists think of seasons by the calendar months. Winter is December, January, and February,;spring is March, April, and May; summer is June, July, and August; and fall is September, October, and November.

I think most people do. If the weather has been warm or hot, flowers are blooming, garden vegetables producing, they've been to the beach, etc., they don't, on June 21, say, "Ah, summer is here at last!" and they don't say "finally, fall has begun!" if they've been crunching through red and gold leaves for the past few weeks.
 
In New Orleans, it's summery hot through September and trees don't turn colors or lose their leaves, so I guess there the 23rd makes a little more sense.

That is what is officially accepted here, newspaper and TV news will say on June 1. "Today is the first day of winter."  In fact this year there was a lot of comment about Winter coming right on time. May 30 was max temp 15'C and I do not think there had been a day when it did not reach 14'C through all of May. Then on May 31 the max was 9'C and June 1st, max 7'C.

In your post, I had to stop and translate each of the temps into F, then would get thrown by the upside-down seasons. When I saw you say May was in the 60s I thought, brrr, that IS cold for May, but then of course I realized you were saying it was WARM for May and had to remind myself that your May is the opposite of my May.  :laugh:

It must have been hard to teach natural science if you had to constantly go through all of those calculations!  :laugh: :laugh:

Our winter started extremely late, too. In December and January it was above 0'C most days. It would dip below 0'C at night, so lakes froze to a heavy but clear ice, easily thick enough to hold a person in most places, smooth on top because it would melt and refreeze every day. So people were ice skating like crazy. People who hadn't skated in years were buying or renting skates and lacing them on. On one big lake near here that has multiple cities on its shores, they were ice skating across the lake for lunch or a beer or to go to a movie!

Then at the very end of January the temperature plunged well into the double-digit below 0'C. One day the high was minus 25'C. And in February, the snowfall not only broke the all time record -- it broke the record by more than a third of a meter. So the whole winter was weird.

I wrote a few weather stories for the newspaper so I talked to meteorologists a lot. One said our winters are warming much faster than our summers. By about half a degree C a decade, which didn't sound too drastic to me -- and if anything it's welcome since I hate cold weather -- but apparently it's actually pretty dire and catastrophic.


"In my day," the schools in the region where I grew up did not open until after Labor Day (first Monday in September in the U.S.), sometimes the very next day.

In my day, too. I guess originally it had something to do with the planting season, having kids home to help with the farm, but even that seems odd because harvesting goes well into September.

Then for a while I suppose it was because schools lacked air conditioning, and also that waiting until after the holiday helped protect resorts and tourism -- obviously lots of families liked taking trips around Labor Day (first Monday in September, Brian) to get the extra day off. So for a long time the state required schools to wait until after the holiday. Then at some point that law was lifted and schools started opening the week before Labor Day or even into late August, which I find abhorrent. The classrooms are still hot because many schools still don't have AC. The start of school is also a really strong cultural/psychological signal of the beginning of fall. Let's not make fall come any earlier than it has to, Legislature.


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #164 on: June 24, 2019, 01:22:01 pm »
Here in Colorado, school starts in early to mid-August! for Pete's sake. But there's a break in October for a few days. It was set by the teacher's union. Also, school is not out until the first week of June, not before Memorial Day as it was when I was in school.

The weather here has been crazy wet and cool. A measure of summer is when Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mtn. National Park opens. They almost made the Memorial Day traditional start time with snowplows working overtime. But then they had to close down the road last week (mid-June!) because of more new snow.

I'm getting a little worried about taking off for Wyoming this Thursday. Might have to put chains on the Crimson Chariot. . .that's what I call my car.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #165 on: June 24, 2019, 01:49:13 pm »
Then for a while I suppose it was because schools lacked air conditioning, and also that waiting until after the holiday helped protect resorts and tourism -- obviously lots of families liked taking trips around Labor Day (first Monday in September, Brian) to get the extra day off. So for a long time the state required schools to wait until after the holiday. Then at some point that law was lifted and schools started opening the week before Labor Day or even into late August, which I find abhorrent. The classrooms are still hot because many schools still don't have AC. The start of school is also a really strong cultural/psychological signal of the beginning of fall. Let's not make fall come any earlier than it has to, Legislature.

In Pennsylvania it can be beastly hot in September. I remember once when I was in junior high school, and I was a very overweight kid, it was so hot in school that I arrived home clearly suffering from heat exhaustion. My mother had me sit in a bathtub of tepid water till I cooled down.

Not only do schools lack air conditioning, or even fans, they also lack even cross ventilation because, of course, one of wall a classroom is windows, but the other is a solid wall.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #166 on: June 24, 2019, 04:06:41 pm »
Here in Colorado, school starts in early to mid-August! for Pete's sake. But there's a break in October for a few days. It was set by the teacher's union.

We have that, too. It's called MEA, for Minnesota Education Association, which holds its convention then. We have had that since I was in elementary school, and probably long before. It's taken on a life of its own as a holiday because it's usually like Wednesday through Friday. So people with kids plan trips out of town "during MEA."


I was a very overweight kid

 :o :o I didn't know that.

In 13 f'in years I don't believe I've seen you mention it (not that I've read every single post you've ever written, of course).


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #167 on: June 24, 2019, 04:37:44 pm »
I was a very overweight kid.

:o :o I didn't know that.

In 13 f'in years I don't believe I've seen you mention it (not that I've read every single post you've ever written, of course).

Yes, I was, and here's the weird thing. There is a stereotype of people gaining "the Freshman ten" pounds when they go off to college. Instead, I lost weight, a lot of weight. But it's all come back in, oh, about 40 years.  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline brian

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #168 on: June 24, 2019, 04:46:21 pm »
It always amazes me that the USA, being so much more religious than Australia or NZ does not have Good Friday as a public holiday. Over here no business or supermarkets are allowed to open. In Dunedin there is no pubic transport. Only small family businesses and petrol stations operate. Easter Sunday is similar but not so restrictive. Last year a law was passed in parliament allowing city councils to decide about businesses operating on Easter Sunday. Dunedin voted to remain closed. The only other similar days are Christmas day and the morning of Anzac day. I would have been horrified if expected to teach on Good Friday.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #169 on: June 24, 2019, 06:16:28 pm »
It always amazes me that the USA, being so much more religious than Australia or NZ does not have Good Friday as a public holiday. Over here no business or supermarkets are allowed to open. In Dunedin there is no pubic transport. Only small family businesses and petrol stations operate. Easter Sunday is similar but not so restrictive. Last year a law was passed in parliament allowing city councils to decide about businesses operating on Easter Sunday. Dunedin voted to remain closed. The only other similar days are Christmas day and the morning of Anzac day. I would have been horrified if expected to teach on Good Friday.

I guess the cultural imperative to have Christmas as a holiday is so strong as to override other concerns. I have no idea why the change in status of Good Friday was made. I know only the situation where grew I was raised. The US may be a great deal more religious than Australia and New Zealand, but perhaps somebody decided that having Good Friday as a holiday amounted to an unconstitutional favoring of one religion--Christianity--over others. Nobody so far as I know has ever had a holiday for the Jewish High Holy Days, for example.

Of course Easter Sunday isn't an issue because it's always a weekend.

It continues to surprise me that we do not have a holiday for Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Government offices are closed, mail is not delivered, and, at least in Pennsylvania, liquor stores are closed, but for the rest of us, it's business as usual.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.