08 January 2009


Where I grew up in Indiana, we had spring, summer, fall, and winter. The schedule was something like:

Spring - mid to late April
Summer - May to September
Autumn - October
Winter - November to early April

Spring was the brief period where daytime temperature was in the 60s and low 70s (Fahrenheit). It tended to last two or three weeks.

Then summer came in all its high heat, high humidity glory. It was usually 85-90, but the humidity made it feel much higher than that. There always seemed to be a midsummer drought, where all the grass turned brown.

Autumn tended to be longer than spring, but not by a whole lot. Maybe 6 weeks or so. The trees turned gold, the winds were warm, and the sky was a spectacular shade of deep blue.

Then, if we were unlucky, we would have snow just before Halloween. Trick or treating was always a chilly event. It sometimes warmed up for part of November, before there was snow again in December, lasting until the end of March or so. It didn't get as cold as more northerly parts, but because of that same high humidity, it always felt colder. Minnesotans sometimes commented about that.

Then March would end, the ground would be muddy and brown, and we were back to spring.

Here in Savannah, we sort of have the same seasons. But winter is more of a token appearance, and the schedule is completely different.

Spring - late February to early April
Summer - April to mid-November
Autumn - late November to December
Winter - January and February

At least, that's how it would be defined from an Indiana perspective. Except that about half of "summer" would probably have to be called "supersummer" because the temperatures are a lot higher - 95-100 is the norm. Humidity is pretty high too. If it's a normal summer, there's a 20-minute rainfall every afternoon. Sometimes those only happen on weekends, depending on air pollution or somesuch (I'm not real clear on the details). Either way, though, one can confidently say things like "oh it'll stop raining by 4:20pm" to one's visitors, and have it be exactly so. (In Indiana, when it rains, it rains for days at a time.)

The daily highs tend to drop a bit around September, which causes all the locals to call it the beginning of autumn. But they're still in the 80s range. So, by my definition, it's still summer.

Meanwhile, winter is a bit of a misnomer. Sometimes in January and February, the nightly lows will dip below freezing for multiple nights in a row. Shocking, I know. At least to outdoor plants.

This year we had a "cold" snap at the beginning of December, but ever since then it's been sunny and low 70s. Maybe Nature's schedule has shifted around on me again.

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