National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Heavy Rain Continues over Portions of the Pacific Northwest

Heavy rain with local flooding will continue along the Washington and Oregon coasts for the next few days. Snow will impact the higher elevations of the Cascades to the northern Rockies. Strong winds will develop in the Sierra and Great Basin. Meanwhile, heavy rain is possible in parts of Florida while light snow will fall in the Upper Great Lakes and northern New England. Read More >

Thanks to the tilt of the Earth at ~23.5°, we get to experience 4 seasons. Some of the seasons seem longer than others (think summer) over Oklahoma and western north Texas, but we have 4 pretty distinct seasons. The types of weather we experience usually revolve on the amount of sunshine that is received. For several months of the year,the northern hemisphere receives more direct rays of the sun (June through September) than the other half (December through March). The other four months are our "transition" months. Below is what we can expect with the changing seasons.

What is happening at the beginning of each season?

 

Spring (Vernal) Equinox

Around March 21 (or between March 20-22), the sun passes directly over the equator. Almost equal amounts of sunshine occur over all areas. Those of us north of the Equator are getting ready for warmer weather, while those to the south are looking for the winter jackets. The sun's more direct warming rays are crossing from the southern hemisphere to the north. These rays of sunshine will help get the grass growing again (or at least accelerate it) and the plants blooming. In Oklahoma, it is our wet season, but also spans much of the severe weather season.

Summer Solstice

Around June 21 (or between June 20-22) is the first of two equinoxes, or the beginning of summer. Ahh, the day with most amount of sunshine, but also the start of what is usually some very, very hot weather over Oklahoma and western north Texas. On this day, the sun reaches its furthest north point in the sky, and slowly begins to set further and further south. But the rays of sunshine are hitting us in full force, which usually leads to temperatures in the 90s to over 100 degrees at times.

Fall (Autumnal) Equinox

Around September 21 (or between September 20-23) marks the second equinox of the year. The sun is crossing the equator, going from the northern Hemisphere into the southern Hemisphere. All areas of the Earth will receive approximately the same amount of the sun's rays. Normally a welcome time of the year, as summers over Oklahoma and western north Texas are usually quite hot. The northern hemisphere begins to tilt away from the sun's direct energy, which finally should begin to cool us off. The north pole (think Santa) will point further and further from the sun, which means shorter daylight hours, and in some cases (Alaska), the daylight hours diminish faster and faster.

Winter Solstice

Around December 21 (or between December 20-22), we experience our second solstice of the year. Even with the proximity of the Earth to the Sun being at its closest point, the northern hemisphere is facing away from the sun, which means a prolonged period of cooler (or colder) weather. The first day of winter also has the fewest amount of daylight hours. However, the number of daylight hours slowly increases as we get closer to Spring.

Below is an image showing the placement of the Earth at the beginning of each season. The dates shown are approximate.