01 September 2023

Meteorological Seasons vs Astronomical Seasons

The Ice Watch winter maintenance season runs between 1 October to 31 April, when winter road hazards are more likely. Our season spans over mid-autumn, winter, and mid-spring.

In the UK all four seasons winter, spring, summer, and autumn, are marked by two dates depending on the Astronomical or Meteorological calendar.
Northern hemisphere astronomical seasons are related to the 23.5° tilt of the Earth’s axis and the position of the hemisphere in relation to the sun. The date that it falls on varies each year. On the other hand, meteorological seasons are fixed dates. The seasons are split into three-month calendar periods, which make it easier to compare weather and climate data. The grouping relates to the annual temperature cycle.

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Astronomical Seasons
The astronomical seasons have two equinoxes and solstices.
The solstice marks the longest and shortest days of the year, based on the number of daylight hours.
On the equinox, the day and night are almost equal. Typically, a few days after the equinox, the day and night are exactly equal. This is known as the equilux.
Following the Autumn Equinox, temperatures are cooler as we are tilted further away from the sun and receive less direct sunlight. The Ice Watch winter maintenance season starts a week after this.

Spring Equinox
(around 20 March)

The day and night are almost equal in length. On the days that follow, days are longer than night.

Summer Solstice
(around 21 June)

The sun is at its highest point for the year at mid-day. Longest period of sunlight, making this the longest day of the year. The days that follow get shorter.

Autumn Equinox
(around 23 September)

The day and night are almost equal length. On the days that follow, nights are longer than day.

Winter Solstice
(around 21 December)

The sun is at its lowest point for the year at mid-day. Shortest period of sunlight, making this the shortest day of the year. The days that follow get longer.

Sodexo, the Quality of Life Services provider

Meteorological Seasons
The Ice Watch season falls during meteorological autumn, when temperatures begin to drop, and nights get longer. Meteorological Autumn starts on the 1st September, Meteorological Winter starts on the 1st December, Meteorological Spring starts on the 1st March and Meteorological Summer starts on the 1st June.

Prepare your business for winter with Ice Watch
Whether the UK experiences another Beast from the East this year or a typical british blizzard, organisations partnering with Ice Watch needn’t worry. If the weather is atrocious the gritters will act on a highly accurate forecast, based on actual ground temperatures to treat car parks, drives and cycleways. Contact the Ice Watch team today on 0800 232 1994 or contact us to prepare your winter maintenance strategy.