(COLORADO SPRINGS)— The start of June also brings the start of the summer season! Well, meteorologically speaking.

June 1 is the first day of meteorological summer, which runs through August 31. How is this different from the regular summer season?

There are two different ways to break up the year: Meteorological and astronomical seasons.

Meteorologists use different starting dates for the seasons for climatology and record-keeping purposes.

Meteorological seasons are defined by the weather and break down the year into three-month seasons based on annual temperature cycles.

Meteorological Seasons break down:

  • Meteorological Summer: June 1 to August 31 – The warmest three months of the year.
  • Meteorological Fall: September 1 to November 30 – The steady, three-month transition from warm to cold.
  • Meteorological Winter: Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 – The coldest three months of the year.
  • Meteorological Spring:  March 1 to May 31 – The steady three-month transition from cold to warm. 

Meteorological seasons carve the calendar year more simply on the basis of temperatures. This helps compare weather from year to year, along with more consistent climate records.

On the other hand, astronomical seasons depend on how the Earth moves around the sun.

Both the Earth’s tilt of 23.4 degrees on its axis and its rotational path around the sun defines the seasons. Spring and Fall equinoxes are when the sun lands on both hemispheres equally.

During the summer solstice, the Earth sees its strongest tilt toward the sun. The winter solstice is when the Earth is tilted away from the sun.

The summer solstice falls on June 21, which is the longest day of the year. The summer season offers the longest days of the year for the Northern Hemisphere.

Long-term forecasts for this summer are leaning toward a warmer-than-normal season for Colorado, along with most southern and coastal areas.

Parts of Southern Colorado and the Pacific Northwest are likely going to see a drier than normal summer, with wetter than average conditions over the SE and most of the East Coast.