Phil Cobb

Phil Cobb

There seems to be some confusion over the beginning and ending of seasons in northwest Missouri, so I thought the goal of this week’s column should be to clear up some misconceptions.

See, there are traditionally two accepted ways to look at the four seasons.

There’s the astronomical method, which places the beginning and ending of the seasons in accordance to the spring and fall equinox and the summer and winter solstice, meaning spring begins on March 20 or 21, summer on June 20 or 21, fall on Sept. 20 or 21 and winter on Dec. 20 or 21.

Then there’s the meteorological method, which insists that spring begins on March 1, summer on June 1, fall on Sept. 1 and winter on Dec. 1.

Of course, this takes into assumption that you live in the northern hemisphere. … Seasons in the southern hemisphere are exactly opposite.

For the purposes of this column, I’d like to introduce the northwest Missouri method.

First off, I’ll say you can ask anyone I work with and they will tell you that I predicted the beginning of spring to be June 1 this year. What made me predict that? Because it’s just like every other year.

As I sit here typing this on Tuesday, May 21, with rain, wind, a predicted high of 55 and a predicted low of 48 — It doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it, people?

You can have your ground hogs and your robins and your vultures, I say the first sign of spring in Maryville, Missouri, is Memorial Day weekend.

Here’s a guide for those of you who are confused about when the seasons begin and end around here:

Spring — June 1 through June 5 

Summer — March 18, April 17 and 29, May 16 and June 16 through Sept. 30

Fall — Oct. 1 through Oct. 15

Winter — Oct. 16 through May 31 minus March 18, April 17 and 29 and May 16

To simplify, you can pretty much count on four and a half months of summer and seven and a half months of winter in northwest Missouri.

I hope this information serves you well as you try to schedule your springtime activities in the future.

While we’re at it, the annual snowfall for this area ranges between 0 and 65 inches and the annual rainfall averages between about 10 and 85 inches.

That should help narrow things down as you look forward to farming and gardening and weekend plans throughout the rest of the year. 

Phil Cobb is the owner and publisher of The Maryville Forum and The Post.