meteorological springsunrise – 6:50     sunset – 6:15
winter countdown – day 74 of 90

march2Meteorologists like to talk about meteorological seasons. There’s meteorological winter – climatologically, the coldest three calendar months of the year: December, January and February, meteorological summer – the three hottest: June, July and August, and the transitions between them: Spring is March, April, May and Fall is September, October, November.

Astronomical spring begins this year on Friday, March 20, at the Vernal Equinox, the time when the sun is directly over the equator on its way northward. But we think about seasons more in terms of the weather that’s associated with them than the placement of the sun and that’s where the concept of meteorological seasons comes from.

If you divide the year up into four roughly equal periods based on the coldest (winter), warmest (summer), and transitional (spring and fall) times of the year, then Sunday, February 28 was the last day of winter, the last day of the coldest 91-day period of the year.

My countdown is based on astronomical spring.

In the image on the left, I am experimenting with the built-in White Balance settings – in this instance the Cloudy setting. I’ve finally taken the step to using the built-in light meter and to shooting in Manual. It’s taken me 7 years to get here. (If you look carefully, there’s a rain drop on the Sprite’s chin.)

Coming back to the weather, this is the first time where Spring in Pittsburgh reminds me most of Spring in Sault Ste Marie. Given that we’ve had a lot of snow there are snow-banks everywhere and with the rain, much of the ground is ice-covered. And as rain keeps coming, the back-yard and the streets are full of cold, winter-water puddles. (The difference is that by the time astronomical spring arrives, the ice and puddles will be gone and we should have two or three months of Spring. In Sault Ste Marie, by the time the snow-mounds, the ice and the puddles were gone it was the end of May.)