The word ‘winter’ originated from an old German word, which means ‘times of water’ and is used to refer to the rain and snow of winter, in the middle and high latitude areas of the globe. The cold weather and insufficient sunlight of the season refrains plants growth, which is coupled with inactivity of animals, insects and human beings. The sedentary lifestyle during the season has led many poets and writers to associate it with death, numbness and unresponsive behavior. Winter season usually occurs between autumn and spring, with characteristics like long nights and small days. Snow and ice, with highest rate of precipitation and prolonged dampness, dominate the environment.
In Northern Hemisphere, the coldest average temperature starts somewhere late in November and lasts till early March. On the other hand, in the Southern Hemisphere, June, July and August are the main winter months. It is quite normal to assume that winter will be colder than summers, because earth is farther from sun during the cold season. The truth is, in fact, contrary to the popular belief. Actually, sun is farthest from the earth during summer and closest in winter. It is the angle of sun's rays striking the earth, which makes all the difference. If you want to know more about why winter is colder than summer, go through the following lines.
Why Are Winters Colder Than Summers
- The prime reason behind the difference in temperature in summer and winter season is the angle at which sun's rays strike the earth. In winters, sunlight strikes earth at an obtuse angle that skims the surface. Since direct sunlight does not hit the surface of earth, the temperature falls down and the weather becomes cold.
- Longer duration of daylight in summer is another reason for warm summers and cold winters, as warming of the body, ground and other objects depends on the absorption of the electromagnetic radiation in the form of heat.
- The season in Northern Hemisphere is summer, when that part of the earth is angled towards the sun. Although the sun is actually farther away during that time, it is positioned directly overhead, which makes the temperature warm, giving rise to summer season.
- Since we are tilted towards the sun in the summer and away from it during winter, we experience the latter to be colder than the former. Moreover, the distance of sun from Earth varies by only 2% over the year. This leads to just 4% change in the amount of solar radiation hitting the earth, hence, the theory of distant sun brings cold is totally incorrect.
- We experience cold temperature in the Northern Hemisphere, when that portion of the earth is angled away from the sun. Even though the sun is closer to earth during that time, its rays strike the planet at a much greater angle than they do during summer season. As a result, the part experiences cold temperature, thus giving rise to winter season.
- Another reason for winter being colder than summer is earth's axis of rotation. It is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees with respect to North, relative to the planet's path around the sun.