Why Are Seasons Reversed in the Southern Hemisphere?



Why Are Seasons Reversed in the Southern Hemisphere?

Have you ever talked on the phone with a friend who lives in the opposite hemisphere? It can be an eye-opening experience, particularly when they start complaining about the weather. While they’re experiencing icy winters and cold, bitter winds, you’re sweating it out in your t-shirt and shorts, trying to beat the summer heat.

But why do the northern and southern hemispheres have opposite seasons? To answer that, we should first take a step back and look at what causes seasonal weather shifts in the first place.

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A Primer on Seasons

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We’d explain the concept of seasons, but why not let National Geographic do it instead?

A season is a period of the year that is distinguished by special climate conditions. The four seasons — spring, summer, fall, and winter — follow one another regularly. Each has its own light, temperature, and weather patterns that repeat yearly.”

Of course, the classic four season framework applies only to regions at mid-latitudes between the equator and the poles. Seasons are largely dependent on the region’s location relative to the equator, and as you travel closer to or further from the equator, this pattern begins to shift.

Closer to the poles, temperatures are generally colder with fewer hours of daylight. (In Barrow, Alaska, it’s consistently dark throughout most of the winter — close to three months!) But nearer to the equator, it’s warm for most of the year, and daylight cycles stay consistent.

In other words, seasonal shifts are determined by two things:

  1. The region’s location on the globe
  2. The axis of the earth relative to the sun.

That first point is a factor in explaining how extreme seasonal weather shifts can be. But when explaining why seasons are opposite across northern and southern hemispheres, the axis makes all the difference.

The Axis of the Earth Is Key

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Our earth has a tilted axis relative to the position of the sun, which is why seasons are opposite across hemispheres.

The Extremes: Summer and Winter

Credit: SUNG YOON JO / iStockPhoto

When Earth’s axis is tilted such that the northern hemisphere leans towards the sun, those regions receive more solar energy, and thus, feel hotter. At the same time, the southern hemisphere receives very little solar energy, producing cold weather. Six months later, the opposite occurs—the other hemisphere tilts towards the sun, and the cycle continues.

The Middle Ground: Autumn and Spring

Credit: SrdjanPav / iStockPhoto

So, winter and summer are opposite. But what about autumn and spring?

These are even easier to understand. Since Earth’s axis produces a tilt that creates opposite seasons across the equator, there’s a sort of “middle ground” that occurs as Earth spins towards its summer/winter extremes. This middle ground is, essentially, the autumn and spring seasons.

Seasons Aren’t so Different

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During these mild seasons, both hemispheres receive the same amount of solar radiation, producing similar weather conditions across the north and south. The key difference comes from each region’s starting point.

When a region moves into autumn, it’s moving from a period of high solar energy (summer) into a lower period. And conversely, regions moving from winter to spring slowly gain solar energy. In this way, autumn and spring are functionally the same thing. The only difference is where each region begins.

India: Schools shut in Mumbai after alert of extremely heavy rainfall today



Schools shut in Mumbai after alert of extremely heavy rainfall today

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted heavy rainfall and has issued a red rain alert for Mumbai and Raigad districts. This indicates a precipitation of more than 204 mm in 24 hours starting Thursday morning.

INDIA Updated: Sep 19, 2019 11:54 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, Mumbai
A car stuck in Rain Water under Sanpada Subway during Heavy Rains in Navi Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
A car stuck in Rain Water under Sanpada Subway during Heavy Rains in Navi Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. (Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

Mumbai city and the adjoining areas are likely to witness “extremely heavy rainfall” on Thursday, said an IMD official.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted heavy rainfall and has issued a red rain alert for Mumbai and Raigad districts. This indicates a precipitation of more than 204 mm in 24 hours starting Thursday morning.

However, Mumbai would receive heavy rainfall on Friday, but Raigad will continue to receive extremely heavy showers that day also, the official said.

Education minister Ashish Shelar has announced that all schools and junior colleges in Thane, Konkan and Mumbai region will remain shut as the weather department forecast a red alert in these regions. He also asked district collectors to keep an eye on the developments.

ashish shelar


In view of heavy rainfall forecasts. As a precautionary measure, holiday is declared for all schools & junior colleges in Mumbai, Thane, Konkan region for today 19 Sep 2019. District collectors in other parts of Maharashtra to decide, based on local conditions.

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This monsoon continued to sweep away records after the city reported its wettest September ever on Wednesday, breaking a 65-year-old record. With another 12 days to go till the end of the month, Mumbai has received 984.3mm rain from September 1 to September 18.

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 07:06 IST

108 degrees in Paris: Europe is shattering heat records this week



108 degrees in Paris: Europe is shattering heat records this week

Paris reported its highest temperature ever this week as Europe’s second major heat wave of the summer continues.

People in Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands cool down in a kiddie pool in front of a restaurant during record heat.
Record heat has gripped Europe this week, as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium set new all-time temperature highs.
 Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Europe is now baking under its second heat wave this month, but this latest is one for the record books.

On Thursday, Paris set its all-time temperature high, reaching 108.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The United Kingdom’s Met Office reported that London’s Heathrow Airport reached 98.4 degrees, a record for July. Cambridge, England, heat climbed to 100.5 degrees, marking only the second time triple-digit temperatures have been recorded in the United Kingdom.

Several countries also set all-time heat records this week: The Netherlands heated up to 105.3 degrees. Germany reached 106.7. Temperatures in Belgium soared to 103.8.

Greta Thunberg


42,6 °C in Paris. The heat records are not just being broken all over the place… they are being smashed.
New record in Paris by over 2° and in Lille by almost 3° C… https://twitter.com/meteofrance/status/1154401878177996800 



42,6 °C relevés @paris à 16h32, et la température pourrait encore augmenter #Canicule #vigilancerouge

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The high temperatures have done more than make people sweat; French officials observed that drownings are up 30 percent compared to the same time last year, with at least 60 deaths indirectly attributed to the ongoing heat as more unskilled swimmers sought relief in the water.

At least five deaths in France have directly resulted from the heat. Such fatalities can occur when prolonged exposure to high temperatures prevents the body from cooling off, leading to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Police in the UK have also recovered bodies of swimmers this week. Health officials in Belgium issued a code red warning for the whole country.

The searing weather has also degraded infrastructure across Europe. Two nuclear reactors at a power plant in France shut down because the water they used for cooling became too hot. The heat forced trains to slow down in the UK due to risks of heat causing rails to expand. The weather may also have contributed to the breakdown of a Eurostar train in Belgium on Wednesday that stranded more than 600 passengers in a sweltering tunnel for two hours. Heat is also threatening iconic landmarks like the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Its roof collapsed in a fire in April, but the cathedral’s chief architect Philippe Villeneuve warned that high temperatures could dry out the church’s fragile masonry and lead to more structural failures.

Cyclists in the ongoing Tour de France have even strapped on ice vests to stay cool.

A cyclist of the Netherlands’ Jumbo-Visma cycling team wears a special plastic bib with several pockets filled with ice due to a heat wave during the Tour de France cycling race  on July 23, 2019.
A cyclist of the Netherlands’ Jumbo-Visma cycling team wears a special plastic bib with several pockets filled with ice due to a heat wave during the Tour de France cycling race on July 23, 2019.
 Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images

Europe’s ongoing heat wave is a reminder of just how vulnerable we are to extreme heat, even in wealthy parts of the world that have the resources to cope. And the risks of extreme temperatures are only increasing as populations grow and the climate changes.

Europe’s ordinarily temperate climate makes it more vulnerable to extreme heat

Countries in Europe are vulnerable to extreme heat for several reasons. One is that triple-digit temperatures are unusual across the continent. As a result, people aren’t used to the extreme heat and are unprepared to deal with it by staying hydrated or taking frequent breaks away from high temperatures.

And because super-high temperatures in Europe are so rare, buildings are not designed to cope with it. Air conditioning isn’t common — about 2 percent of German homes are air-conditioned — and most homes and offices are designed to stay warm in European winters rather than passively cool off in scorching summers.

Another factor in Europe’s heat wave is that 72 percent of the population lives in cities and suburbs surrounded by heat-trapping concrete and asphalt, so people are densely concentrated in areas that warm up more than their surroundings.

These heat islands continue to dissipate heat even after the sun sets, so nighttime temperatures stay high. That poses another health risk since it means people have a harder time finding relief from the heat, adding to their cumulative heat exposure. People who already have an underlying condition like high blood pressure stand to suffer the most.

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Met Office


After an exceptionally hot day for some, it’s going to be a warm and humid evening with temperatures barely dropping overnight

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History has shown us that heat waves in Europe can be extremely deadly. In 2003, a heat wave almost as intense as the current one killed upward of 70,000 people across the continent, mainly among the elderly in homes that became too hot. Since then, European health officials have taken heat far more seriously, proactively issuing public health alerts and opening public cooling centers during periods of extreme heat. The death tolls of subsequent heat waves have not come anywhere close.

However, the planet is getting hotter, and heat waves will only become longer, more frequent, and more intense. And Europe is already getting a lot of heat. All of Europe’s hottest summers in the past 500 years have been in the last 17 years.

“Such intense and widespread heatwaves carry the signature of man-made climate change,” said Johannes Cullmann, director of World Meteorological Organization’s climate and water department, in a statement on Wednesday. “This is consistent with the scientific finding showing evidence of more frequent, drawn out and intense heat events as greenhouse gas concentrations lead to a rise in global temperatures.”

And because of climate change, evening temperatures have been rising faster than daytime temperatures.

Forecasters now expect rain and thunderstorms in the UK and parts of the continent over the next few days, which should help people cool off. But the future still holds more heat for the region.

How do tornadoes form?



How do tornadoes form?

Tornadoes are thunderstorms that create violent air-to-ground force. They are capable of massive destruction, destroying houses, uprooting huge trees, making shambles of large buildings, and swirling vehicles into the air. Annually, the United States averages 1,200 tornadoes. They produce an average of 65 fatalities and over 1,500 injuries per year. The loss of property is estimated in the millions.

Tornadoes can hit a revolving wind speed of 200 miles per hour and average 30 miles per hour of forward momentum. However, they can also remain stationary or accelerate to 70 mph, obliterating everything in their paths. How do these enormous energy waves from Mother Nature originate?


Credit: mdesigner125 / iStock

Thunderstorms form tornadoes. According to Weather Wiz, the ingredients needed are warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and cool, dry air from Canada. When these two elements meet, they create an unstable atmosphere. As a result, a change in wind direction mixed with the increase of wind speeds creates an invisible effect in the atmosphere.

Then, the rising air from the ground is pushed up and forms swirling air. The swirling air itself starts to suck up warm air from the ground. Next, the spinning funnel grows longer and is stretched, elongating toward the ground. Finally, the funnel may reach and travel along the ground, and it is not technically called a tornado.

Funnel cloud

Credit: Rasica / iStock

Besides thunderstorms, tornadoes are also started by funnel clouds. These are turning columns of air shaped like a funnel or cone. They extend downward from a thunderstorm’s base and do not touch the ground. When the funnel cloud touches the ground, it is called a tornado.

Like other natural disasters, tornadoes develop, climax, and die. Proactive preparation is the best we can do when they come our way. This means having an escape route out of the area, or hiding in a basement, a bathroom, or other safe room.


Credit: WestWindGraphics / iStock

Unlike thunderstorms and funnel clouds, tornadoes are formed by winds. When it comes to forming tornadoes, winds occur when the air begins to spin, blowing from different directions. According to UCAR, the air immediately begins to rise and is pushed by the wind. Next, the air continues to rise and is pushed again by the shifting winds.

Finally, the wind is moving at different speeds, directions, and altitudes, which causes the air to spin at a rapid rate. Therefore, even though thunderstorms and funnel clouds contribute to forming tornadoes, the winds are a huge factor. The wind itself allows the tornado to swirl around in circles. As a result, this can create an enormous tornado, depending on the width.


Credit: antonyspencer / iStock

Although thunderstorms, funnel clouds, and winds contribute to how a tornado is formed, there are also supercells. According to UCAR, supercells are one of the strongest types of a thunderstorm as the air rises while spinning. However, the revolving air does not form a tornado. In order for a tornado to be formed, the rotating air needs to be near the ground so the tornado can balance itself, like a child’s toy top. This event occurs when the air inside the storm goes straight to the ground, and the storm spreads out like gusts.

Multiple atmospheric elements come together to form a tornado. Thunderstorms, funnel clouds, rapid winds, and supercells collaborate to generate a mass of circling air. Lastly, they assume their rightful position of balance by touching the ground. Like a domino effect, if one of these elements were missing, there would not be a tornado. This violent and devastating force of nature is one that must be respected.

4 U.S. Cities With the Most Extreme Weather




U.S. Cities With the Most Extreme Weather

Many U.S. cities experience extreme temperatures, sometimes changing as much as 50 or even 65 degrees in a day. The honor for the hottest place ever recorded in the U.S. goes to Death Valley, California, with a whopping temperature of 134° F recorded in 1913. You’ll find the coldest place in the U.S. in the tiny northern Alaska town of Prospect Creek — temps fell to -80° F in 1971. The following four cities can claim some of the largest temperature variations within a year.

Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa

Credit: Amdizdarevic/Shutterstock

The Midwest experiences some of the greatest temperature variations between winter and summer. In Waterloo, Iowa, you’ll see temperature differences averaging about 57.5 degrees. Winter temps average 10° F to 27° F and summer highs reach the mid-80s. Waterloo residences enjoy a recently revitalized downtown area along the Cedar River that includes a riverwalk trail, plaza, splash pad, amphitheater, DekHockey rink, shopping, dining, cultural entertainment and nightlife. You can tour the John Deere factory here, which builds large and small tractors, farm equipment, lawnmowers and more. Guided tours will take you through each step of the manufacturing process, from the first steel cut to the final product.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Credit: Steven Frame/Shutterstock

Head to Sioux Falls, which sees annual temperature differences averaging 59 degrees. Winter temps range from 7° F to 26° F, with summers reaching comfortable highs in the low 80s. Named for the falls along the Big Sioux River that flow through the city, Sioux Falls is home to the U.S. Geological Survey’s EROS (Earth Resources Observation and Science) Data Center. In contrast to modern satellite-image processing, you’ll find ancient Native American ceremonial burial grounds dating back 1,600 years in the South Dakota town. If you happen to visit in late summer, you can attend one of the U.S.’s largest outdoor music festivals, the LifeLight Festival.

St. Cloud, Minnesota

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Credit: Anh Luu/Shutterstock

Minnesotans must become accustomed to extreme low temps in the winter, seeing some of the coldest temperatures of any place in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Fifteen of the top eighteen cities with the greatest temperature differences are found in Minnesota. Annual temperature variations average 61 degrees in St. Cloud, a small city in central Minnesota located at the junction of the Sauk and Mississippi rivers. St. Cloud residents experience average winter lows between 2° F and 18° F. By summer, temps increase to a comfortable 82° F. If you happen to visit during the warmer summer months, be sure to visit the beautiful Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, which overlook the Mississippi River.

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Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota

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Long before the 1996 blockbuster film Fargo hit cinemas, North Dakota’s largest city was famous for topping the list for the broadest annual temperature differences of any U.S. city — 63.8 degrees. Fargo residents must bundle up in January, with lows averaging around 0° F and highs only about 18° F. However, come July, residents are able to head out in shorts and t-shirts with highs in the low 80s. If you’re a fan of the movie, you can have your picture taken with the actual wood chipper used in the infamous murder scene at the Fargo Moorhead Visitor Center.

What Are The 6 Hottest Cities In The U.S.



With temperatures rising across North America, the U.S. seems to be getting hotter by the minute. But which U.S. cities have really caused residents to shed layers? Using long-term temperature averages and based on the number of days over 99 degrees Fahrenheit in a year, the NOAA National Climatic Data Center revealed which cities are the most sweltering. Read on to learn about the six hottest cities in the U.S.

Sacramento, California, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Tie)

Sacramento, California, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Tie)

Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Days over 99 °F: 11

Sacramento and Oklahoma City are tied for sixth place, each averaging 11 days above 99 degrees a year. But if you don’t mind the scorching hot temperatures, one of these cities might be for you. Sacramento was listed as #14 in the Best Places to Live 2019 by U.S. News and World Report, boasting 265 days of sun annually. And Oklahoma City doesn’t seem too shabby, either. The city’s low housing prices and good economy are making it more desirable to young professionals, earning it the #68 spot in the U.S. News ranking.

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock

Days over 99 °F: 16

Although Austin’s temperatures are blazing hot in the summer, the locals take the heat in stride. When the city becomes too hot to handle, it’s a good time to float on any of the nearby rivers, from the spring-fed San Marcos to the party float on the Guadalupe. Plus, the warm evening temps are ideal for enjoying outdoor concerts, like Unplugged at the Grove and the symphony’s Free Concert in the Park. However, it can be too hot to exercise outside during the heat of midday, so make sure to hit up Austin’s many trails at dawn or dusk.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Credit: Davel5957/iStock

Days over 99 °F: 17

Nearly 200 miles north of Austin, the city of Dallas is just a little bit hotter than its southern neighbor. With an average of 17 days over 99 degrees, the people of Dallas know how to survive the oppressive heat of summer — bar-backed pools. If sitting poolside, sipping on frozen drinks sounds like your ideal summer day, Dallas may be the city for you. Once considered a luxury for hotel guests, more hotels and private pools are opening to city residents in need of a cold drink and a cool dip. Popular pools to visit include SISU, The Belmont and FOE.

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Riverside, California

Riverside, California

Credit: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Days over 99 °F: 24

Sixty miles east of L.A., Riverside, California, has a hot, dry climate that lends itself to growing citrus. In fact, Riverside was where the California citrus industry was born, with Eliza Tibbets planting two navel orange trees outside her home in 1873. These small plants eventually led to a citrus industry boom and a mere 20 years later, Riverside became one of the richest towns in the U.S. Today, Riverside is a bedroom community whose biggest claim to fame is the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, a national historic landmark that has been around since 1876.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock

Days over 99 °F: 70

Sin City also happens to be sinfully hot, with 70 days creeping into three-digit temperatures. Thank goodness much of the city, with its casinos, museums and theaters, is protected by the cool blast of A/C. Being in the desert, Las Vegas is home to a dry heat, which makes it a bit easier to sit poolside or go exploring in the nearby mountains. If you really need to cool down, you can try the Arctic Ice Room at the Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace. The spa experience allows visitors to relax in a cool 55-degree room, complete with fake falling snow, before immersing themselves in warm soaking pools.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Credit: Davel5957/iStock

Days over 99 °F: 107

Boasting 107 days over 99 degrees, Phoenix, Arizona, is the hottest city in the U.S. In fact, a 2017 heat wave resulted in the grounding of all planes at the Phoenix airport. With temps soaring up to 119 degrees, the planes were simply unable to operate. The sweltering heat of summer aside, spending time in Phoenix can be very pleasant in other seasons. With an average high of 72 degrees in February, it’s a popular city for retirees. With the complete lack of snow and 299 days of sun, Phoenix is ideal for anyone who wants to skip winter altogether.

Cyclone Debbie Category 3 Cyclone To Land In Northeastern Australia


(CNN) Thousands of residents in Queensland, in northeastern Australia, have been ordered to leave their homes as severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie approaches, bringing with it powerful winds and heavy rain.

The storm continued to intensify as it approached landfall, becoming a Category 3 cyclone, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It’s expected to make landfall near the town of Ayr late Tuesday morning, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Cyclone Debbie is forecast to pack gusts of up to 150 mph (240 kph), as well as flash flooding and storm surges as high as four meters.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that 3,500 residents had already been evacuated.
An additional 2,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in the Bowen area, as the cyclone has tracked farther south than originally predicted, she added.

Officials predict cyclone will be ‘nasty’

Some residents are refusing to leave their home, Palaszczuk said, with police going door to door in a final attempt to get people to safety.
“This is going to be a nasty cyclone,” Palaszczuk told reporters on Monday morning.
“There is no time for complacency … the window of opportunity to leave is drastically closing,” she said. “I am just pleading to everyone, please, listen to authorities. This is about your safety, it is about the safety of your family and the safety of your children.”
Cyclone Debbie is the largest storm to hit Queensland since the Category 5 cyclone Yasi in 2011, which ripped homes from their foundations and destroyed farmland. Debbie could end up being as severe as Yasi, Palaszczuk warned.

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