eli5: Why do places with colder winters also have longer cold seasons (and the same with summer)

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eli5: Why do places with colder winters also have longer cold seasons (and the same with summer)

In: Earth Science

It takes a long time for it to get that cold and then it takes a long time for it to warm back up.

I live in Minnesota. In the middle of the winter is probably 10 degrees colder here in the middle of the winter than it is in Boston or Philadelphia. Our daily averages get as cold as Boston ever gets in early December and stay that cold or colder until mid-February. So, we have to get colder faster in October and November to get down that far and then our warm-up is delayed in the spring as well.

The earth circles the sun, and is set at an angle on its axis. As it rotates, different parts of the earth get to be closer or further away from the sun.

During winter, that part of the planet is further away from the sun. During summer, that part of the planet is closer to the sun.

Places with long winter months are places that have very limited exposure to the sun due to the angle of the earth. These are places far from the equator. The closer to the equator you get, the more sun, the longer and hotter your summer, the shorter and warmer your winter.