We have had a very hot summer and as our thoughts turn to Christmas and winter many are concerned that this harsh climate will lead to an even harsher winter month.

Earth is on an imaginary axis and it makes one full rotation daily giving us day and night. The seasons we experience happens because instead of standing straight on its axis the earth tilts’ approximately 23.5 degrees. The tilt is always pointed in a different direction so different parts of the earth get direct sunlight at different times of the day or year.

Around June the North Pole is tilted towards the sun and closer to the month of December the South Pole is tilted towards the sun. This directly impacts when different places on earth see summer and when different places see winter. It has little impact however on the intensity of the seasons.

Most meteorologists believe that the intensity of the seasons is random with axis, tilt, or environmental factors only sidekicks and not specific causes for how harsh a season is.

High-pressure weather systems force air downwards and rain clouds are dependent on rising air to form. Therefore, the skies above high-pressure systems usually remain cloud free. If the high-pressure system continues through to the autumn and early winter months the same clear skies which allowed the heat from the sun to easier get to the earths surface will also allow for cloudless nights during winter. The low amount of cloud cover means that the radiation of heat from the ground happens without being trapped by the clouds and as the heat escapes the winter nights may be much cooler.

This is a stretch though as the formation of clouds is a short process and if there are many pools of water over a wide area which is evaporated, clouds will still form regardless of the season, winter, spring, summer or fall. Since there is no specific time when clouds form it is difficult to say that this is the main reason for excess heat reaching the earths surface during summer or escaping during winter.

This said, we therefore cannot make any gauge as to what the winter months will be like. It is safe to say that while the children must wait until Santa comes to see what gifts they get; we will have to wait until winter comes to determine if we really need that extra winter coat or not.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: