Portal:Winter

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The Winter Portal

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Winter is one of the four seasons of temperate zones. It is the season with the shortest days and the lowest average temperatures. It has colder weather and, especially in the higher latitudes or altitudes, snow and ice. The coldest average temperatures of the season are typically experienced in January in the Northern Hemisphere and in July in the Southern Hemisphere. Astronomically, winter starts with the winter solstice and ends with the vernal equinox, though in popular usage the word "winter" is more often defined by cold weather. By this definition it would be approximated by the calendar months of June, July, and August in the Southern Hemisphere and December, January, and February in the Northern Hemisphere. By still another definition, the seasons are not seen as quarters of the year, but as elastic periods in a particular place determined by the weather. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere faces the Sun more directly and thus experiences warmer temperatures than the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, winter in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when the Northern hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun. From the perspective of an observer on the Earth, the winter Sun has a lower maximum altitude in the sky than the summer Sun.
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A winter service vehicle (WSV), or snow removal vehicle, is used to clear thoroughfares of ice and snow. Winter service vehicles are usually based on dump truck chassis, with adaptations allowing them to carry specially designed snow removal equipment. Many authorities also use smaller vehicles on sidewalks, footpaths, and cycleways. Road maintenance agencies and contractors in temperate or polar areas often own several winter service vehicles, using them to keep the roads clear of snow and ice and safe for driving during winter. Airports use winter service vehicles to keep both aircraft surfaces, and runways and taxiways free of snow and ice, which, besides endangering aircraft takeoff and landing, can interfere with the aerodynamics of the craft. The earliest winter service vehicles were snow rollers, designed to maintain a smooth, even road surface for sleds, although horse-drawn snowploughs and gritting vehicles are recorded in use as early as 1862. The increase in motor car traffic and aviation in the early 20th century led to the development and popularization of large motorized winter service vehicles.
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South Korea record snowfall.jpg
Credit: NASA

Satellite image of record snowfall in South Korea in March, 2004

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  • Winter storms blanket Midwest and Northeast United States, cause travel delays
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February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.
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