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NEW POLL: Your thoughts – is it still winter, or is spring now here? monitors the weather and how nature is coping on a daily basis – we read your comments, see your photos and videos and closely watch temperatures and other weather conditions to see if they are normal for this time of the year, for the region you live in.

As you probably know by now there are two starts to each season – and both are in fact widely used around the globe.

Much of this week CNN forecasters in the US have been talking about summer already over and “fall is here” while in Australia forecasters declared a start to spring on September 1st. 

Not only do we have two dates for seasons – the Astronomical date (our sun, earth’s tilt and our cycle around it) and then there’s the Meteorological date (the first day of the month, cleaner record keeping, perhaps aligns more with how people feel).

But there’s a third far more important date for the beginning and end of the seasons, from a forecasters point of view anyway – it’s when we actually physically see change.

Yes the astronomical date (which means it’s still winter right now and spring doesn’t start until September 23rd, the spring equinox) has physical meanings – some plants do not change into gear until this date has passed and the extra additional sunlight creates physical changes in plants and how they grow.

But New Zealand is so small that both the astronomical and the meteorological dates aren’t worthy of getting too focused on.

Every season starts in this country when the air pressure systems allow for it, or encourage it.  Over the past few days you’ve witnessed how one high pressure system can bring snow flurries to downtown Wellington but this same high will now start to spread sub-tropical air over some places.

Winter is defined as dormant. Spring is winter fading away, hints of summer coming in, and life returning. is acutely switched on to your comments and what Mother Nature is doing – so if we see pollen, lambs, grass growth, above average temperatures and windy westerlies in August we’ll probably declare an early spring.

Tell us what you think: If a majority of Kiwis prefer the later astronomical dates we’re more than happy to promote that – so you tell us!

Are we still in winter – or has spring well and truly arrived already where you are this year?

Vote (and add comments) below:


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