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Sprinter has sprung and sprummer’s just around the corner

Forget summer, autumn, winter and spring – experts believe New Zealand should have five or six seasons to suit our climate.

Tim Entwisle, executive director of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, has proposed Australia should have seasons such as “sprummer” – the season between spring and summer – and “sprinter” to signify an early spring.

It’s an idea that WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan “completely supports” for our Kiwi climate.

“I definitely think there is room for at least one more season, if not two in some areas,” he said.

“Our winters are so short and warm – you can wear a T-shirt and shorts in Auckland in winter – and it tends to happen that we all of a sudden jump from winter to spring.”

Duncan said he has been having a debate on his blog about when spring begins, as it tends to be the most confusing of seasons.

“Some people will celebrate the spring equinox on September 21, and I celebrate it on September 1, but really this year spring started in August,” he said.

“Judged on that I think there is definitely room for at least one more season.”

Duncan is not sure how people would respond to the idea of celebrating more than four seasons, and it might only work in certain parts of the country.

Entwisle said the idea for more seasons came from noticing Sydney’s biological changes in July and August which signified an early spring. In Australia, those changes to do not fit with the typical four seasons.

“In July and August the gardens are already in bloom here … and I get people calling me all the time asking if it’s an early spring,” Entwisle said.

“It would make sense in New Zealand in places where people notice the biological differences between seasons – that’s what people respond to.”



Guest on 30/08/2009 9:24pm

…Lets not confuse matters by adding non-existent seasons, or by using ridiculous aussie vocab. I say we should simplfy matters instead by reducing the number. One must take into account geographical location. For instance for the bottom of the south island, no need for a ‘summer’ season, so reduce it to the remaining three. West Coast South island, one can reduce it to two – wet, not-wet. Up here on the shore – as opposed to over the bridge (where there’s seemingly always more cloud, rain and a cooler temps) – we can agin reduce the seasons to just two – either swimming season, not swimming season – or – shorts season (Sept – May) – not shorts season (June-August). Very simple really.

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