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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In the Northern Hemisphere, the Christmas season or (winter) holiday season is a late-year season that surrounds the Christmas holiday as well as other holidays during the November/December timeframe. It is sometimes synonymous with the winter season. It has been found to have a proportionate effect on health, compared to the rest of the year. Its reference and naming by schools and governments has been the subject of controversy. It incorporates a holiday shopping season which comprises a peak season for the retail sector (the Christmas shopping season), and a period of sales at the end of the season (the January sales). The exact definition, name, and celebratory method of the period varies from culture to culture. The season in the United States encompasses at least Christmas and New Year's Day, and also includes Saint Nicholas Day. The U.S. Fire Administration defines the winter holiday season as the period from December 1 to January 7. Some stores and shopping malls advertise their Christmas merchandise beginning after Halloween or even in late October, alongside Halloween items. In the UK Christmas food appears on supermarket shelves as early as September.

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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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Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley by Curran, 1819.jpg
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
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