Is June 1 the first day of winter?

Thu, Jun 1

June 1 traditionally marks the first day of winter, but is it? That depends on who you talk to.

There's ongoing debates between the sciences as to when winter actually starts.

For astronomers, the start of the season begins during the summer solstice, which falls on June 21 this year, Stardome astronomer Josh Aoraki told Seven Sharp.

"That's when we experience the shortest night so that, for us, is kind of the astronomical start of winter."

But NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino says he's of two minds when it comes to the start of winter.

Debate rages on the actual start date for the coldest season.

"Yes. Yes, it is. That's one half of me saying that. The other half of me is saying let's wait a few weeks," he said.

"It's the meteorological start of winter. We do it because it's a lot easier to keep track of records, statistics, how cold was the winter, how warm was the winter and when we have three even, clean months, it makes it a lot easier for bookkeeping."

Aoraki said the rivalry between the two sciences "depends [on] who you ask".

"Astronomers are pretty bent on using really precise measurements so the position of the Earth around the Sun, or as meteorologists, it's just a different system that they use which is averages and climate and temperature."