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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A field in summer.

Summer is the warmest of the four temperate seasons, between spring and autumn. It is marked by the longest days and shortest nights. The seasons start on different dates in different cultures based on astronomy and regional meteorology. However generally, when it is summer in the southern hemisphere it is winter in the northern hemisphere, and vice versa. In areas of the tropics and subtropics, the wet season occurs during the summer. Tropical cyclones develop and roam the tropical and subtropical oceans during the summer. In the interior of continents, thunderstorms are most likely to produce hail during the afternoon and evening. Schools have a summer break to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days.



From an astronomical view, the equinoxes and solstices would be the middle of the respective seasons, but a variable seasonal lag means that the meteorological start of the season, which is based on average temperature patterns, occurs several weeks later than the start of the astronomical season.[1] According to meteorologists, summer extends for the whole months of June, July and August in the northern hemisphere and the whole months of December, January and February in the southern hemisphere.[2] This meteorological definition of summer also aligns with the commonly viewed notion of summer as the season with the longest (and warmest) days of the year, in which daylight predominates. From the astronomical perspective, days continue to lengthen from equinox to solstice and summer days progressively shorten after the solstice, so meteorological summer encompasses the build-up to the longest day and a diminishing thereafter, with summer having many more hours of daylight than spring.

The meteorological reckoning of seasons is used in Austria, Denmark and the former USSR; it is also used by many in the United Kingdom, where summer is thought of as extending from mid-May to mid-August. The definition based on equinoxes and solstices is more frequently used in the United States, where many regions have a continental climate with a temperature lag of about six weeks.

Summer in Fethiye, Turkey.

Elsewhere, however, Solstices and equinoxes are taken to mark the mid-points, not the beginnings, of the seasons. In Chinese astronomy, for example, summer starts on or around 5 May, with the jiéqì (solar term) known as lìxià (立夏), i.e. "establishment of summer", and it ends on or around 6 August. An example of Western usage would be William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, where the play takes place over the shortest night of the year, which is the summer solstice.

In Ireland, the summer months according to the national meteorological service, Met Eireann, are June, July and August. However, according to the Irish Calendar summer begins 1 May and ends 1 August. School textbooks in Ireland follow the cultural norm of summer commencing on 1 May rather than the meteorological definition of 1 June.

In southern and southeast Asia, where the monsoon occurs, summer is more generally defined as lasting from March to May/early June, their warmest time of the year, ending with the onset of the monsoon rains.[citation needed]

In some areas of the United States, summer season begins on the Memorial Day weekend (the last Monday in May) and ends at the Labor Day weekend (the first Monday in September). Likewise, another set of pop-cultural reference points for summer is the time when elementary and secondary schools close down for the "summer vacation". This period usually lasts from around early to mid June until around late August to early September, depending on where the school is located. In the United States, summer is often fixed as the period from the summer solstice to the fall equinox.[3][4][5][6]


Wet season thunderstorm at night in Darwin, Australia.

The wet season occurs during summer across the tropics and subtropics. Where the wet season is associated with a seasonal shift in the prevailing winds, it is known as a monsoon.[7] The wet season is the main period of vegetation growth within the savanna climate regime.[8] However, this also means that wet season is a time for food shortages before crops reach their full maturity.[9] This causes seasonal weight changes for people in developing countries, with a drop occurring during the wet season until the time of the first harvest, when weights rebound.[10] Malaria incidence increases during periods of high temperature and heavy rainfall.[11]

Cows calve, or give birth, at the beginning of the wet season.[12] The onset of the rainy season signals the departure of the Monarch butterfly from Mexico.[13] Tropical species of butterflies show larger dot markings on their wings to fend off possible predators and are more active during the wet season than the dry season.[14] Within the tropics and warmer areas of the subtropics, decreased salinity of near shore wetlands due to the rains causes an increase in crocodile nesting.[15] Other species, such as the arroyo toad, spawn within the couple months after the seasonal rains.[16] Armadillos and rattlesnakes seek higher ground.[17]

Image of Hurricane Lester from late August 1992.

In the Northern Atlantic Ocean, a distinct tropical cyclone season occurs from 1 June to 30 November, sharply peaking from late August through September.[18] The statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is 10 September. The Northeast Pacific Ocean has a broader period of activity, but in a similar time frame to the Atlantic.[19] The Northwest Pacific sees tropical cyclones year-round, with a minimum in February and March and a peak in early September. In the North Indian basin, storms are most common from April to December, with peaks in May and November.[18] In the Southern Hemisphere, the tropical cyclone year begins on 1 July and runs all year round and encompasses the tropical cyclone seasons which run from 1 November until the end of April with peaks in mid-February to early March.[18][20]

Across interior North America, cumulonimbus clouds produce hail between the months of March and October during the afternoon and evening hours, with the bulk of the occurrences from May through September. Cheyenne, Wyoming is North America's most hail-prone city with an average of nine to ten hailstorms per season.[21]


In higher latitude locations, summer is the time for road resurfacing, as winter ice and snow leaves potholes behind in the pavement due to the expansion and contraction of ice and snow during the winter months. Construction jobs tend to have minimum temperature requirements in order for work to be accomplished, such in the laying of concrete. This is because materials such as concrete take increasingly longer to dry within cold temperature regimes. Also, working within warmer weather regimes is done to prevent expansion of ice within the new material, which decreases its potential strength and integrity.[22]

School break

In most countries children are out of school during this time of year for summer holidays, although dates vary. In the Northern hemisphere, some begin as early as mid-May, although in England and Wales, school ends in mid- to late July. In the Southern hemisphere, school holiday dates include the major holidays of Christmas and New Year's Day. Summer school holidays in Australia begin a few weeks before Christmas and end in late January to mid-February, with the dates varying in different states.


People take advantage of the warmer temperatures by spending more time outdoors during the summer. Activities such as traveling to the beach and picnics occur during summer months. Sports such as cricket, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and football are played. Water skiing is a uniquely summer sport, which is done when waters approach their warmest of the year.

Kids during summer  
Summer, a fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti  

See also

  • Sumarr, personification of summer in Norse mythology.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Meteorological Glossary (Sixth ed.). London: HMSO. 1991. p. 260. ISBN 0-11-400363-7. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Glossary of Meteorology (2009). Monsoon. American Meteorological Society. Retrieved on 16 January 2009.
  8. ^ Charles Darwin University (2009). Characteristics of tropical savannas. Charles Darwin University. Retrieved on 27 December 2008.
  9. ^ A. Roberto Frisancho (1993). Human Adaptation and Accommodation. University of Michigan Press, pp. 388. ISBN 9780472095117. Retrieved on 27 December 2008.
  10. ^ Marti J. Van Liere, Eric-Alain D. Ategbo, Jan Hoorweg, Adel P. Den Hartog, and Joseph G. A. J. Hautvast. The significance of socio-economic characteristics for adult seasonal body-weight fluctuations: a study in north-western Benin. British Journal of Nutrition: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  11. ^ African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (2008). Ten Day Climate Bulletin: Dekad of 01 to 10 April, 2008. ACMAD. Retrieved on 8 February 2009.
  12. ^ John P. McNamara, J. France, D. E. Beever (2000). Modelling Nutrient Utilization in Farm Animals. CABI, pp. 275. ISBN 9780851994499. Retrieved on 6 February 2009.
  13. ^ Dr. Lincoln Brower (2005). Precipitation at the Monarch Overwintering Sites in Mexico. Journey North. Retrieved on 6 February 2009.
  14. ^ Paul M. Brakefield and Torben B. Larsen (1983). The evolutionary significance of dry and wet season forms in some tropical butterflies. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, pp. 1-12. Retrieved on 27 December 2008.
  15. ^ Phil Hall (1989). Crocodiles, Their Ecology, Management, and Conservation. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Crocodile Specialist Group, pp. 167. Retrieved on 27 December 2008.
  16. ^ San Diego Natural History Museum (2009). Bufo californicus: Arroyo Toad. San Diego Natural History Museum. Retrieved on 16 January 2009.
  17. ^ Linda Deuver (1978). Dry season, wet season. Audubon Magazine, November 1978, pp. 120-130. Retrieved on 6 February 2009.
  18. ^ a b c Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division. "Frequently Asked Questions: When is hurricane season?". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 25 July 2006. 
  19. ^ McAdie, Colin (10 May 2007). "Tropical Cyclone Climatology". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 9 June 2007. 
  20. ^ "Tropical Cyclone Operational Plan for the Southeastern Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Oceans". World Meteorological Organization. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  21. ^ Nolan J. Doesken (April 1994). "Hail, Hail, Hail ! The Summertime Hazard of Eastern Colorado". Colorado Climate 17 (7). Retrieved 18 July 2009. 
  22. ^ Grace Construction Projects (7 March 2006). "Technical Bulletin TB-0106: Cold Weather Concrete". Retrieved 18 July 2009. 


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes about summer

  • And summer isn't a time. It's a place as well. Summer is a moving creature and likes to go south for the winter.
  • I'd like to know if I could compare you to a summer's day. Because -- well, June 12th was quite nice, and...
  • Logos is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger.
  • Summer afternoon— summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
  • The only good things about summer are women's fashions and movies.
    • John Pritchard
  • That summer I did nothing/Just sleeping, thinking and hanging around.
    • From the song "Orpheus" by Ash

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up summer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.

Summer may refer to:

  • Summer, a poem by Abay Qunanbayuli
  • Summer (1865), a poem by John Clare.
  • Summer, a poem by James Thomson.
  • Summer (1917), a novel by Edith Wharton.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also summer


Proper noun




  1. A female given name of modern usage, for a girl born in summer.

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|Beaches are associated with summer in Western culture.]] Summer is one of four seasons. It is the hottest and one of the most dry seasons of the year. Four seasons are found in areas which are not too hot or too cold. Summer happens to the north and south sides of the Earth at opposite times of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer takes place between the months of June and September and in the Southern Hemisphere, it takes place between December and March. This is because when the Northern Hemisphere, or part, of the Earth points towards the Sun, the Southern Hemisphere points away.

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