Winter is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice. Some authorities attempt to define an astronomical winter, often offset, which is based solely on the position of the Earth in its orbit around the sun. The start of an astronomical winter remains constant in each hemisphere regardless of weather conditions, but varies with culture. Meteorological winter is the method of measuring the winter season used by meteorologists based on 'sensible weather patterns' for record keeping purposes, so the start of meteorological winter can change depending on how far north one lives. Winter is often defined by meteorologists to be the three calendar months with the lowest average temperatures.
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