LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Even though the weather in Arkansas doesn’t feel fall-like, fall is right around the corner. Especially meteorological Fall which starts September 1st, while astronomical fall starts September 22nd.

So what’s the difference between Meteorological Fall and Astronomical Fall?

The obvious difference is they have different start and end dates. Meteorological Fall starts September 1st and ends November 30th. Astronomical Fall starts September 22nd and ends December 21st.

But why?

Astronomical seasons are more widely used as the official seasons, and they are based on the sun. The first day of Astronomical Fall is the autumnal equinox (when the day and night are equal) and the last day of Fall is the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year).

Meteorological seasons are broken up into three-month increments and are based on the temperature. Meteorological Fall is September, October, and November.

Overall, the meteorological seasons are better for representing what each time of year feels like. The three coldest months are December, January, and February (Meteorological Winter). The hottest months are June, July, and August (Meteorological Summer). Spring and Fall are the transitional months.

Whether you celebrate the first day of Fall this Thursday or in a few weeks, temperatures will start cooling down pretty soon!


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The Arkansas Storm Team is a collaboration of two stations to bring you the largest weather team in the state when covering Arkansas weather.