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Author Topic: Seasonal confusion
Gavida
Deck the Malls


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Well, we all had it happen before I guess.
Someone asks you something and you are sure you know the answer.
But once the question is asked and has sunk in and you think about the answer you realize, you don't actually know but would have to guess as well.

Yesterday a friend asked me a question I thought was easy to answer at first:

Do australian people celebrate christmas in winter or summer?

My first impulse to answer was "in summer".
But my friend was not satisfied with the answer and she rephrased the question:

Do australian people call the season they celebrate christmas in "winter" or "summer"?

That is when my face went blank, I guess.

I have no idea if you australian lot have a warm winter or a warm summer down under.
Do you call the same time of the year "winter" that we northern hemispherers call "winter"?

Or is it summer right now? I mean as in "Season" not meteorological.

And Merry Christmas to all of you [Smile]

Gavida

ETCT (Edited to correct typo)

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"He looked bigger when I couldn't see him" - Jayne Cobb

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RainyDaze
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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My boss is Australian and over the eleven years I have worked with him the topic of holidays has come up a few times. The Australians use the same calender we use with the holidays on the same dates. The seasons are reversed. So they are celebrating Christmas at the same time we are celebrating Christmas, but for them its summer.
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Em
Happy Holly Days


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It is currently Christmas day here, by all of about 15 minutes. It's summer, and while usually it's hot at this time of the year we seem to be having some cooler weather for once (thank DOYC).

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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To add to the confusion, when I went to Australia during (Canada's) winter break last year, my cousins in Sydney were on their summer break. But not a 2-week break like we have in the winter. The 2-month break like we have in the summer. The new school year was starting again in January.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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My best friend is in Australia (Brisbane) and he is currently in his Summer season right now. I visited them in July of 2005, but I don't say "Summer" or "Winter", I say, "July of 2005" that way the Northern hemisphere people and the Southern hemisphere people both know when the heck I was there. [Wink]

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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Jusenkyo no Pikachu
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by LeaflessMapleTree:
To add to the confusion, when I went to Australia during (Canada's) winter break last year, my cousins in Sydney were on their summer break. But not a 2-week break like we have in the winter. The 2-month break like we have in the summer. The new school year was starting again in January.

When I lived in America (1999-2000 school year), I had to tell a counselor that the school year down here runs from January to December. She then asked me where summer break went.

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"Never underestimate a nerd from outer space."
--Von, that alien from that Kids Incorporated episode.

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erwins
Deck the Malls


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Huh, I was just thinking about this question the other day, and this is the perfect (I think) thread to ask it in:

Do people in the southern hemisphere call Dec. 21 the summer solstice? And the one in June is the Winter solstice?

erwins

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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Erwins- Linky-poo

[Big Grin]

ETA: that's a link to a list of Sabbats with hemisphere dates included.

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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My little sister is a healthy lady of thirty-eight winters...

And sixty summers!

Silas (hasn't travelled any)

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Hot Toast
Baby 100 Grand


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quote:
Originally posted by erwins:
Do people in the southern hemisphere call Dec. 21 the summer solstice? And the one in June is the Winter solstice?

erwins

Yes. Remember that in Summer the solstice is the day that you have the most daylight hours inyour hemisphere and the Winter solstice is when you have the fewest daylight hours in your hemesphere.

You do all realise that the northern and southern hemisphere have the opposite seasons at the same time because of the tilt of the Earth's axis and the revolution of the Earth around the sun?

We have the same dates in the year, but of course our summer holidays are during our summer.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Hot Toast:
You do all realise that the northern and southern hemisphere have the opposite seasons at the same time because of the tilt of the Earth's axis and the revolution of the Earth around the sun?

There is also a *slight* effect due to the eccentricity of the earth's orbit. We (the whole planet) are a bit closer to the sun in December, and a bit farther away in June. This has the (*slight!*) effect of making northern summers cooler and northern winters warmer. You blessed antipodean blokes, alas, suffer hotter summers and colder winters from this effect.

'Course, I'm still trying to figure out how y'all cling upside down to the bottom of the world... (grin!)

Silas ("Flat! It's Flat! Flat, dammit!")

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Hot Toast
Baby 100 Grand


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No I wasn't aware of this Silas. But I can just about guarantee that the winters aren't colder where I am from.
Posts: 36 | From: Western Australia | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Em
Happy Holly Days


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Winter temperatures according to this site (cities chosen for similar latitudes in opposite directions):

Melbourne Victoria 37°48'49"S (July)

Avg. Max Temperature 13°C (56°F)
Avg. Min Temperature 6°C (43°F)

Lynchburg Virginia 37°24'13"N (Jan)

Avg. Max Temperature 6.4°C (43.6°F)
Avg. Min Temperature -4.1°C (24.7°F)


I couldn't easily track down elevation information about Lynchburg and gave up looking, but unless it's at the top of a mountain it doesn't seem to me that we get colder winters down here at all.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

Posts: 1646 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
SantasHobbit
Frosty the Salesman


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He He, The OP struck me as sort of funny when it's too bloody hot to sleep in this neck of the woods. The other side of the Nullabor may be unseasonably cool, but us Sandgropers have been boiled alive over the Xmas break with temperatures close to the old imperial ton. It's definitely Summer (which by definition is the warmest season of the year.) Hot Toast has a really apt user name.

One thing I've been trying to wrap my head around though is;

If the Northern and Southern hemispheres have opposing seasons, are there two nearby places on Earth that have opposing seasons? Like can you leave a town somewhere in Summer, drive a couple of kilometers, and be in a town that's in Winter? There must be, but one town always seems to have it's seasons reversed.

I've been musing about this with a tennis ball, the kitchen light bulb, and a marker pen, but the more more I think about it, the more confused I'm getting.

What's wrong with my logic? (or lack of it)

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Angsty little hobbitssssses

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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Nothing is wrong with it, but both towns would be very close to the equator and so would have a "wet season" and a "dry season" rather than summer, autumn, winter and spring. Technically one town would be in the middle of summer while the other was in winter, but the only way to tell the difference would be to look at a calendar.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

Posts: 1646 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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My online friend who lives in SA showed me this link... talk about seasonal confusion!

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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Usually my main Christmas day problem is trying not to get sunburned, but this year I was hailed on while trying to fly a kite. At least we didn't get snow here. We don't even get snow in winter, so it would have been really confusing having it turn up in December.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

Posts: 1646 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
Winter temperatures according to this site (cities chosen for similar latitudes in opposite directions):

Melbourne Victoria 37°48'49"S (July)

Avg. Max Temperature 13°C (56°F)
Avg. Min Temperature 6°C (43°F)

Lynchburg Virginia 37°24'13"N (Jan)

Avg. Max Temperature 6.4°C (43.6°F)
Avg. Min Temperature -4.1°C (24.7°F)


I couldn't easily track down elevation information about Lynchburg and gave up looking, but unless it's at the top of a mountain it doesn't seem to me that we get colder winters down here at all.

The eccentricity of the earth's orbit emphasizes the extremity of the weather *overall* in the southern hemisphere. It's not valid to single out one particular Australian city and compare to one particular U.S. city. The effect is felt in South America and southern Africa also.

Virginia is warmed by the Gulf Stream; I don't know what the major currents are near Melbourne.

Here is some information on the subject, even to a note contradicting some of what I had said for *some locations*, especially coastlines, because of the preponderance of water in the southern hemisphere and the fact that water has a very different set of properties with regard to heating, cooling, heat capacity, etc. than land does.

At any rate, at the height of Melbourne's summer, the locals are getting 7% more solar energy than I am at the height of mine. What the land and the sea do with that energy depends on local configurations.

Silas (by the way, thanks for the gum trees!)

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