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Meteorological or Astronomical?

In honour of the autumn equinox, here’s a poem I wrote the last time we had a solstice:

Seasonally affected

September October November
December January February
March April May
June July August

Meteorological seasons
follow the Gregorian calendar

Astronomical seasons
follow equinoxes and solstices

In meteorological terms,
summer begins on June the first.
An expert weather forecaster knows this
whereas non-experts,
meteorologically speaking,
speak astronomically

Astronomical summer begins
on June the twentieth
or is it the twenty first?
I need to know!

Actual summer begins when it feels like it,
ends when it ends
and some years, well,
it just doesn’t …
feel like it.

Both Astronomical and Meteorological seasons
contain other seasons:

The silly season, for example
which occurs when other seasons don’t.

Or the football season which,
regardless of the calendar in use,
ends on the last day of one season
and begins on the first day of the next.

Astronomical seasons
are about 3 weeks behind
meteorological seasons,
so weather forecasters are campaigning
to have the astronomical seasons
brought forward by 3 weeks
to make their forecasts more accurate.

Actually I was a bit astronomical with the truth there.
But I hope to promote the meteoric rise
of meteorological seasons
as a subject for casual conversation
in preference to merely talking about the weather.

© Heather Wastie
June 2014

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