What's the difference between meteorological and astronomical seasons?

Four Seasons - Spring Summer Fall Winter - Flickr Creative Commons by Sarah Spaulding
Four Seasons - Spring Summer Fall Winter - Flickr Creative Commons by Sarah Spaulding (Flickr Creative Commons - Sarah Spaulding )

Did you know there are actually two seasonal cycles for winter, spring, summer and fall — one is astronomical and the other is meteorological. Astronomical seasons are based on the position of Earth in relation to the sun, whereas the meteorological seasons follow the calendar year and are based on the annual temperature cycle. Read our article on Meteorological Versus Astronomical Seasons to learn more.