Why Do The Seasons Lag Behind The Calendar?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Statistically, Seattle is at its warmest in late July and its coldest in late January. But the first day of summer is in late June and winter starts in December, so why the lag time?

Just like a pot of water doesn't boil the instant you turn on the heat, the atmosphere takes some time to warm up or cool down, as the case may be. Even though we get the most daylight in late June, it takes about 30 days for the atmosphere to transfer that maximum warmth to the surface. The same, but opposite effect works in winter.

The oceans and lakes take even longer to respond to heating and cooling. They typically take until late September to be at their warmest, and late March to be at their coldest.

Your Photos

YouNews Thunderstorms at 3AM Thunderstorms at 3AM
I was woke up at 3AM to the best thunderstorm show I have ever seen in my life! ��
YouNews Friday Night Sky Images Friday Night Sky Images
The images of the Andromeda Spiral Galaxy (M31)and Globular
Cluster (M15) were taken with an Explore Scientific ED127
and Nikon D3100 DSLR. M31 is a stack of 1-hour and M15 is a
stack of 30-minutes.