Utah’s Five Seasons
By Ken K. Gourdin
Some places (which are mostly confined to the Earth’s northernmost and southernmost locales) have perpetual winter: spring, summer, and fall are mere blips on the radar, with the rest of the year being consumed by cold temperatures and snow. Other places (which are mostly confined to equatorial and island paradises) have perpetual summer: at most, there is a ten- to fifteen-degree fluctuation in temperature from season to season and from night to day, and the only precipitation with which inhabitants and visitors must concern themselves is the tropical occasional rain storm.
Much of the planet, however, is treated to great seasonable variability: spring’s rainy coolness and green renewal give way to summer’s heat, which, in turn, gives way to falling leaves and crisper temperatures in fall, which then give way to still winter’s colder temperatures, ice, and snow. This area of the country, however, is unique: here, we have more than four seasons. Mother Nature rarely makes a decision to usher in a season with any of those signature features and sticks to it. Here, there’s more of a blending of seasons. Instead of the traditional four seasons, we have six.
Here, Mother Nature rarely offers a smooth transition between winter and spring, or between fall and winter. Thus, following winter but before spring, we get a transitional season in which rain and snow, along with warmer and cooler temperatures, alternate. I hereby christen this post-winter season “spwinter.” Following the traditional spring comes traditional fall. Then, however, we get another transitional season, in which fall-like temperatures and rain alternate with winter-like temperatures and occasional snow. I hereby christen this post-fall season “fwinter.”
Despite the fact that the calendar says we’ve only now entered fall, on my daily constitutional (which consists of a drive through one of the canyons near our house) I observed that the freshly-fallen (and still falling) leaves have now mingled with freshly-fallen (and still falling) snow. Welcome to an early Utah fwinter!