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Postcards From Autumn

By: Shaun Tanner , 9:47 PM GMT on September 24, 2012

Perhaps this statement will get me yelled at by some, but I do not like Summer. Yeah sure, Summer is fun with the beaches and the Sun and all of that yumminess, but I prefer the coziness and hot chocolate-filled nights of Autumn and Winter.

Thus, it was with great pleasure that at 10:49 A.M. EDT on Saturday, September 22 that I celebrated the beginning of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

If I were to take a poll of my fellow employees with the single question of, "Do you prefer Winter or Summer", the vast majority would choose Summer. I initially thought that this disdain for Autumn and Winter came from imports to California from colder climates such as the Midwest and Great Lakes area (many employees of Weather Underground are from these areas). But, I am reminded that this attitude is not region-centric every time it rains in California. When I was a child, my Californian mother would whine about the wet weather every time it rained for more than 6 hours. So, my question to you is, why do you hate the Autumn and Winter?

Before you yell at me more, I can answer this question with what most of you in snow-prone cities will say.

Well, Mr. Meteorologist, I can't stand shoveling feet of snow away from my door and sidewalk for 4 months straight.

To that I say, I get it. There are certain aspects of Winter that suck. But, I certainly don't hear the same amount of screaming when we have to dunk ourselves in sunscreen every time we go out into the Summer Sun. And isn't the inconvenience of a few dozen Summer mosquito bites worth a similar check mark in the annoying column? All I am saying is that you have to take into account the best and worst of the season before you say "I hate Autumn and Winter."

Here are my reasons for enjoying Autumn and Winter

Coziness Factor

Yeah sure, the heat of the Summer is fine...for awhile. But when it hits 105 degrees or when the dew point soars into the 60s and 70s, how is that enjoyable? There is just not that much you can do to protect yourself. Cold weather? You can protect yourself from that. Even better is curling up underneath a blanket, wearing those funky slippers you received 12 years ago for Christmas while sipping a giant mug of hot chocolate and staring at the dancing snowflakes or pounding raindrops outside and being thankful for the non-leaking roof over your head. There is nothing worse than a blanket that is too small, however. So make sure you have an adequate blanket-size to maintain the cozy seal.

How can you compete with these colors?

My parents will be taking a cruise in and around New England and the Canadian Maritime region in October. The reason? Well, for this of course...

I am interested to see how the fall colors turn out this year. In case you haven't heard, many areas of the country are currently suffering through a devastating drought.

The experts are saying that a drought should cause the fall colors to come earlier and end earlier than normal. The good news is that the drought is minimal in New England, so the colors should hopefully come out as expected.

Running in the puddles

Yeah, I get it. I'm a kid. And all of you reading this blog are SOOOO above being a child. But, one rainy weekend, put on those exercise clothes you stuffed into the back of your closet, strap on some boots or tennis shoes, and go run in the puddles. Jump, splash, get as wet and sloppy as possible. I have never had a bad time doing it. It has even cured a bad mood as well. The best part is stripping off those wet clothes and jumping into a steaming hot shower. Then, see Coziness Factor above.

Winter Sports

Last Winter, many employees stopped by my office to inquire if any snow was coming to the Sierras. My answer throughout the entire Winter was, "no, stop asking." I find it interesting that these are the same people who whine when it rains for more than a day straight.

I think we all saw what happens when the snow takes a vacation. No snow, no skiing, hardly a White Christmas, no snowballs. What kind of Winter is that?

Pumpkin Pie

Sure, this isn't a complex list, but it isn't meant to be. Add your list of likes and dislikes below in the comments section. But, I wanted to add this one because it just might be my favorite perk of all. Perhaps it is just me, but whenever October comes around, I get the unmistakeable whiffs of pumpkin pie in the air. I love pumpkin pie. I have been known to swallow two pumpkin pies at a time around the Holidays, so please send your pies and recipes to the WU office. Forget the recipes, just send the pies.

Fall Colors (DCMaki)
Fall colors are beginning to show at Pleasant View GC.
Fall Colors
Livermore fall colors (canon30dguy)
hitting their peak now
Livermore fall colors
Fall Colors (habataku)
Fall colors south of Coldfoot
Fall Colors
Fall Colors on McDonald Avenue (harmonist)
Fall Colors on McDonald Avenue
1st Visible SNOW... (Retta2)
view from atop Round Top in Lake City, CO. We think it might be the San Luis Peak. But this is a lot of snow for so early in the season. Other peaks just got a dusting.
1st Visible SNOW...
May snow (lorik)
June Lake Loop
May snow

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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4. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:13 PM GMT on October 01, 2012
shauntanner has created a new entry.
3. Shaun Tanner , Senior Meteorologist (Admin)
5:47 AM GMT on October 01, 2012
Thanks for commenting.

While I enjoy the sun, I also enjoy the shorter days as well. As the dark comes sooner, it reminds me of the coming cool mornings and the fact that Earth is actually tilted.
2. georgevandenberghe
3:16 PM GMT on September 28, 2012
I have to second this writer in that Autumn is also my favorite season. Preferences in order are Autumn, Spring, Winter and Summer. I live in the DC area and it just seems summer takes more and more out of me
as the years go by. You can put on more clothes and get more physically active to fight cold but when it is too hot there is very little you can do other than get wet or hide in a cooler spot. I enjoy gardening but
even with the fairly long growing season we have in DC, summer heat is enervating and I don't get the yields or quality of vegetables I got in New Jersey years ago. I've never had a chance to try a really cool summer region like the coastal Pacific Northwest but have thought about escaping to western MD which is a lot cooler.

Autumn on the other hand is just beautiful here and it's especially a relief after the enervating mind destroying summer. When my kids were small we used to take an annual Ocean City beach trip on Columbus day.
The air was usually on the cool side of okay but the water was still warm, the crowds were gone and the sun was weak enough that sunscreen was a morning duty rather than several times a day thing. ( Now though they prefer the beach crowds and more amusements.)

The only thing I don't like about Autumn is the short days.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. prentice121
9:03 AM GMT on September 25, 2012
Looks like I'm the only one, but I'm with you on the love of the colder months. I abhor the heat and work out in it in Florida. Bless my heart.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Wunderground Meteorologist Shaun Tanner

About shauntanner

Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.

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