Just saying “spring is here” can be uplifting.  That’s the case for me.  Flowers, longer days, warmer weather, birds chirping.  What’s not to like? Unless, of course, you suffer from allergies

For meteorologists, we are already in spring…meteorological spring.  Meteorological spring begins on March 1 and ends on May 31.  It’s easier to keep statistics on the weather using specific dates as opposed to varying dates of the equinoxes and solstices.

Astronomical spring arrives at 6:29AM EDT on Monday.  That’s when the sun’s direct rays will be shining on the equator of the Earth.  That’s the moment of the Vernal or Spring Equinox.

What is an equinox exactly? Equinox comes from the Latin word, aequus, which means equal — equal days and equal nights.  Astronomically, it’s the tilt of the Earth that causes the solstices and equinoxes.  The Earth is always tilted about its axis.  At the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun and gets more direct sunlight.  At the winter solstice, the Southern Hemisphere gets the sun’s more direct rays.  At the time of an equinox, however, the sun’s direct rays fall on the equator.

Happy Spring!

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

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