Franklin Fact Archive
Back to Franklin Facts homepage.
Back to TV12
TUESDAY OCTOBER 3 - SPRING AND FALL: TRANSITION SEASONS
Both autumn and spring are transition seasons between the warmth of summer and
the chill of winter. And there are some similarities in temperature between those
two seasons - roughly speaking, November's temperatures around here are
comparable to March's, October's to April's, and September's to May's.
But our weather in spring tends to be more volatile than in fall: spring is windier,
with more thunderstorms, and spring tends to be a little wetter as well. We can
explain this difference using the fundamental principle known as "stability."
When you're loading a moving van, a cardinal rule is to put the heavy things on
the bottom, and the lighter things on top. If you put the heavy stuff on top,
the whole pile is in greater danger of crashing down. You could say that the pile
has greater "stability" if the heavy stuff is on the bottom. In the atmosphere,
the "heavy stuff" is colder air, while warmer air tends to be lighter. How does
this help explain the differences between spring and fall? I'll answer that