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I say (N. Hemisphere) Fall starts ...

Displaying poll results.
1st September
  4266 votes / 27%
Sometime around 8th August
  648 votes / 4%
Whenever the Int'l Astronomical Union says!
  4787 votes / 30%
I have my own definition (describe below)
  2388 votes / 15%
I don't recognize seasons
  3564 votes / 22%
15653 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I say (N. Hemisphere) Fall starts ...

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  • Vernal equinox 9/22 or 9/23

    • ITYM "autumnal equinox", it's on the 23rd this year.

      Since the equinoxes align with the tilting of the axis, one would think that they, and the solstices, would fall in the exact center of their seasons. However, temperature lag throws this off. I.e. in California, I consider fall as September, October, and much of November, and the greatest impact it has tends to be on clothes. So, come Labor Day I shelve my summer clothes and switch to more autumn items.

      • Here in Atlanta my thermometer read 104 today. Autumn it is not.

      • ITYM "autumnal equinox", it's on the 23rd this year.

        Surely in the US if you insist on calling the season 'fall' this should be the "fell equinox"? Apart from being more consistent with your language it sounds far more ominous than "autumnal".

    • The equinoxes and solstices define something but they don't define seasons. When people who pay no attention to astronomy per se parrot "today is the first day of Fall/Autumn" on the 23rd, they're not saying anything of significance. When they say "today is the first day of Winter" a few days before Christmas, it will be equally meaningless.

      In part that's because seasons change gradually, and the weather can go back and forth between summer-like and fall-like. But it's also because the equinoxes and sols

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Which is complete bullshit because it then means that Winter doesn't arrive until the Winter Solstice which makes no sense because by that point you've already run through half the cold weather.

      • Depends on where you live. These are just convenient orbital milestones, but where I've lived, mainly in the South and Southwestern US they are entirely appropriate.

  • by Abstrackt (609015) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @05:42PM (#37298484)

    I say it's Fall when leaves start changing color and falling off and school starts. Though that leaf system doesn't work well for people in larger cities.

    • You insensitive clod!

    • by Myopic (18616)

      Agreed. Fall "starts" when the first leaves turn red and yellow. Winter takes over on the day of the first snowfall which "sticks", which means often you can't recognize winter for a couple days.

      • by pspahn (1175617)
        So does that mean summer hits when it eventually gets 90F again? I mean, what happens when you have 90F weather followed by a two foot snow storm, followed by 90F again a few days later?
    • by knarfling (735361)
      Here in AZ, we tell the changing of the seasons by the changing colors as well. But since we don't have much in the way of leaves on a cactus, it is much more helpful to look at the changing colors of the the license plates.
      Right now there have been a couple of license plates with new colors, but since it is still over 100 (only 107 today, cooling trend), I won't see some of the new colors until October or November.
      Actually, Phoenix has some very short winters. Last year it was on a Tuesday.
    • by mellon (7048)

      Works pretty well in Manhattan. I agree with the leaf test, although the other test is that it's when the air turns crisp and the dew starts to form consistently in the morning.

  • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @05:47PM (#37298526)
    Here in jolly old England we have "Autumn".
    • by rve (4436)

      And it lasts from early august until mid June, followed by spring (until mid July), summer (ideally a week or two but often skips a year). No winter.

    • by Cloud K (125581)

      Indeed. Our silly American friends and their habit of naming things differently :D

      And my definition is basically 1st September as despite any official (and complicated) definitions I consider the seasons to be March/April/May, June/July/August, September/October/November and December/January/February

      Seems to work out well - think it was the 1st that I first had to wear a coat again.

      But you also get summery days, like today.

      • by mellon (7048)

        Autumn is used in the U.S. as well. It's just considered a bit stodgy. But if you say it, most people will know what you mean.

        • by hb253 (764272)

          Most people?

          If a typical American doesn't know the definition of autumn, he should be slapped for being stupid.

          • by CityZen (464761)

            Well, if we always slapped someone here for being stupid, nobody would ever be able to get anything done.

    • I define autumn in retrospect.

      In a week or so, I'll probably think "damn, it's not summer any more".

      I wandered round London in a t-shirt today, so it could easily be summer. But I took a coat and a sweater with me, just in case.

    • by Trogre (513942)

      In NZ we typically use "Autumn" too. However the phrase, "spring forward, fall back" is still commonly used as a memory aid for which direction to change clocks come Daylight Savings transitions

      Yes, I'm afraid we also suffer the curse of DST.

  • Wisconsin really only has 3 seasons - there typically is no Spring to speak of. We tend to have "Indian summers" and for me fall really starts when the temp consistently falls below 70, the humidity drops, and the air starts to feel "crisp". Yesterday we had to turn the AC because the humidity was atrocious - yet school has already started. I think we're getting close, and I'm actually looking forward to it, due to the many upcoming Oktoberfests going on around here. I guess I would agree that fall beings o

  • Given that I work in astronomy, I was tempted to vote for the IAU option. But my real definition is: When I start to wear gloves.

  • by idonthack (883680) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @06:14PM (#37298700)
    Seasonal hierarchy is an oppressive institution imposed by the state and civilized society
  • When the temp drops below 55Â.

    "What do you do? What do you do?"

  • by The Man (684)

    We don't have that season. Here in San Francisco, there are four seasons:

    Rainy Season: Nov. 1 through Mar. 31
    Season of False Hope: Apr. 1 through May 31
    Foggy Season: June 1 through Aug. 31
    Summer: Sept. 1 though Oct. 31

    All dates approximate. Your seasons may vary.

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @06:50PM (#37298906)

    Last week: Fucking hot.
    This week: Cold, progressing to fucking cold.

    In my mind, fall got here this week.

    (For the curious, a relatively warm day in winter is "fucking cold" and more profanity gets added in for every 10ish degree drop.)

    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      (For the curious, a relatively warm day in winter is "fucking cold" and more profanity gets added in for every 10ish degree drop.)

      The part of Canada I'm in pretty much bottoms out at "so fucking cold it feels like you dipped your balls in liquid nitrogen".

      • by Gorshkov (932507)

        The part of Canada I'm in pretty much bottoms out at "so fucking cold it feels like you dipped your balls in liquid nitrogen".

        You had LIQUID nitrogen? Where I grew up, our nitrogen was frozen solid, and we damned well liked it that way.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        On the bright side, no terminators though.

      • by Baloroth (2370816)
        Try wearing pants next winter, it'll help, trust me.
  • 35C today. Doesn't seem like Fall yet.
    • 35C today. Doesn't seem like Fall yet.

      I can never interpret those. What's that in real temperature?

  • You top enders suck. You're going to be whining about how cold it is. I'm going into summer because I live on the awesome side. It's 25C outside (yes Centigrade, the proper way to measure temperature) today, in fact the future's so bright I'm going to need shades.

  • When do you want it to start?

  • Yom Teruah aka Rosh Hoshannah.

    Varies from year to year, between late Aug to Early Oct.

  • I'm in LEO you insensitive clod!

  • Fall starts at the end of September at the "Fall" equinox. Winter starts at the end of December at the "Winter" solstice. Spring starts at the end of March at the "Spring" equinox. Summer starts at the end of June at the "Summer" solstice. Amazing how that works out.
    • by ebcdic (39948)

      Nonsense. Why should the longest day be the *start* of summer? It would make more sense for it to be the middle of summer. We could call it something like "midsummer's day".

      In reality, seasons are meant to describe periods of similar weather. What seasons you have and when they are depends on where in the world you are. There's no reason they should be tied to particular solar events - and in any case, there's nothing really special about the solstices and the equinoxes - days being longest or equal to

  • Which means, here in Mississippi, that'll be sometime in Late October. Our State Fair is mid-October, after all.

  • When the leaves turn gold and scarlet, I realize that Autumn is comming/arrived.
  • Colorado has two seasons: summer and winter. Between summer and winter are periods of confusion where it may be comfortable early in the day and snowing later in the day or snowing one day and comfortable the next. Some people attempt to label the transition from winter to summer as spring and the transition from summer to winter as fall but the reality is you just get a mixture of summer and winter weather. My best personal example is cutting the grass around noon one mid-May day (wearing shorts and a t

  • many areas of the world don't have 4 distinct seasons, for some it's better to say 'wet' and 'dry' for others it's many seasons, hot-wet, hot-dry, etc, so say whatever suits your climate.

  • I live in Georgia. It's officially summer to me so long as the temperatures are still reaching the 80s and 90s on a daily basis. The day I shut my AC off because the temperature stayed a reasonable 74F is the day I call it autumn. That usually occurs around mid to late september.
  • 7 consecutive days the high is 90 F . Or is that winter?

  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @01:20AM (#37300816)

    The seasons here (Australia) start on 1 Mar/1 Jun/1 Sep/1 Dec, rather than being based on the solstices and equinoxes as they are in the US. Using those dates is:

    a) easier to remember; and
    b) better matches the actual temperatures (this is true in the northern hemisphere as well)

    To clarify what I mean by (b), you will note that in most non-tropical areas of the world, the long-term average temperature minima and maxima fall on or around 15 Jan and 15 Jul each year and do a bell curvish kinda thing before and after that. Hence seasons that run from 1 Dec-28 Feb and 1 Jun-31 Aug make sense because they are straddling the coldest and hottest parts of the year almost exactly. It means that 'winter' genuinely is, on average, the coldest three month period, with the coldest part of all falling in the middle of that period.

    The reason the solstices aren't a good date on which to start seasons (at least from a weather perspective) is because temperature changes 'lag behind' the change in the sunlight. So in the northern hemisphere, although the shortest day is on or around 21 December, the lowest (average) temperature is experienced around the middle of January (over the whole hemisphere - there will obviously be local variations). If we used 21 Dec as the start of winter as they do in the US, that'd mean the coldest period of winter wasn't the middle of winter, but rather the period about 3 weeks into it (i.e. towards the start of winter).

    Indeed, the US NWS/NOAA themselves uses the 1 Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec seasons, referring to them as 'meteorological seasons', for exactly this reason. I think it's a better system, at least in terms of thinking of seasons as 'changes in the weather' rather than celestially-based things.

  • When college football starts, obviously.

  • Here in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest, fall starts when the rains return. I'm thinking that will be right around mid-September this year.
  • In the Phoenix area, we won't get "fall-like" temperatures until late October.

  • We had a great spring season. It lasted till May. Then we ran out of sunshine and have not seen any sun ever since.
    So I guess fall started in May for us (in The Netherlands..)

  • I grew up in Labrador. We have two seasons there - Winter, and Mosquito.
  • Here in Vancouver, we typically get 4 seasons: too cold, too wet, too dry, just right

    We just don't know when we'll get them.

    Take the Winter Olympics last year - February and we got almost no snow, 20C temperatures and tourists running around in shorts and T-shirts.

    Or "Summer" this year - that was an extension of "too wet" until after the middle of August - and now that September is here, looks like it might extend for another month or two.

    Snow in May, warm weather at Christmas, love it.

    The saying

  • by PPH (736903)

    ... the DOT stops jackhammering up all the roads.

    Spring is when they patch up all the jackhammered holes and take down the construction barriers. Just in time for the next re-paving season to begin.

  • ...when I miss a step.

  • My treas are dropping brown leaves. Doesn't that make it fall? Of course, I live in Texas so they might just be dead.

  • The sun is still shining; the days are warm, the mornings aint cold; most of the plants on my allotment are still producing; the amount of leaves turning on the trees are at a minimum, there's no die back yet. Still summer where I am.
  • Before Winter and after summer. In otherwords, you never see it coming. Though there's a 3 week period when the leaves change colours. This spring thing too? I keep hearing about it, but it's usually winter than summer here.

  • ... we have all 4 seasons: June, July, August, and Winter (although this year it is more like July, August, September, and Winter).
  • It's that time between when people quit whining that it's too hot, and start whining that it's too cold.

  • Back when the men were men, and the children were workers, it was Harvest, not Autumn, nor Fall.

    Life was so much simpler then.

  • by redback (15527) on Monday September 05, 2011 @01:40AM (#37306414)

    I live in the Southern Hemisphere and I call it Autumn, you insensitive clod!

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus

 



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