Last Day Of Spring 2023 – The first day of spring is Monday, March 20, 2023 at 5:24 p.m. EDT. For us in the Northern Hemisphere this is marked by the arrival of the Vernal Equinox (also known as “The First Point of Aries”).
Traditionally, we celebrate the first day of spring on March 21, but astronomers and calendar makers now say that the spring season begins on March 20, in all time zones in North America. In 2020, spring falls on March 19, the earliest first day of spring in 124 years!
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No matter what the weather is like outside, the vernal equinox marks the official start of the spring season. Check out our official spring forecast.
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So what does that mean? Essentially, our daylight hours—the period of time each day between sunrise and sunset—increase a little each day since the winter solstice in December, which is the shortest day of the year (smaller in terms of brightness).
Although we know that after December 21st the days start to get longer, we still see more darkness than light as the day passes in the three months until spring. The vernal equinox marks a change when sunlight begins to overcome darkness.
At this time, the sun’s direct rays illuminate the equator, creating the effect of equal days and nights (more or less for a few minutes, see below). After the vernal equinox, the direct rays of the Sun migrate north from the Equator (with the number of hours of sunlight continuing to increase) until they reach the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23.5 degrees north).
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On that day, the migration of the Sun’s direct rays stopped; this is the far north of their destination. We call it the summer solstice (
Suspension of migration in direct sunlight). It is the longest day of the year in daylight.
After the summer solstice, the direct rays move further south and the days begin to shorten. It will take another three months, until the autumnal equinox, for the seasons of sunlight and darkness to regain balance.
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The rays finally reach the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23.5 degrees south) on the day of the winter solstice and the whole cycle begins again!
One question that revolves around the vernal equinox concerns the length of day versus night. They teach us that in the first days of spring and autumn, day and night correspond exactly to 12 hours around the world.
However, if you look at the calendar pages of our Almanac, you will see that this is not the case. In fact, our tables tell you that on the days of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the length of daylight is actually longer than darkness by several minutes.
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The reason for this can be attributed to our atmosphere. If the Earth were a planet without an atmosphere, then yes, on the days of the equinoxes, the length of day and night would be exactly the same.
However, our atmosphere acts like a lens and refracts (bends) its light above the edge of the horizon. In other words, when you watch the Sun rise above the horizon at sunrise or descend below the horizon at sunset, you are looking at an illusion – the Sun is not actually there, but already below the horizon.
As a result, we can actually see the Sun a few minutes before its disk actually rises and a few minutes after it sets. Therefore, thanks to atmospheric refraction, the length of daylight on any given day is lengthened by about six or seven minutes.
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Since the seasons are defined to begin at strict 90-degree intervals, these changes in position affect the time it takes Earth to reach each 90-degree point in its orbit around the Sun.
Second, the gravitational force from other planets also affects the position of the Earth in its orbit.
As you can see, the warm seasons, spring and summer, are a combined 7,584 days longer than the cooler seasons, fall and winter (good news for warm weather lovers!).
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However, spring is currently shortened by about one minute per year, and winter by about half a minute per year. Summer gets a minute lost from spring, and autumn gets half a minute lost from winter.
Winter is the shortest period in astronomy, and with the continued reduction of its seasonal duration, it is expected that in 3500 it will reach its minimum value – 88.71 days.
It then returns to Earth’s elliptical orbit, as mentioned above. We are 3.1 million miles closer to the Sun (so-called
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). And the closer a celestial body is to the Sun, the faster it moves in its orbit – under the influence of gravity, this is a basic, natural law that astronomer Johann Kepler showed 400 years ago. This means that during the cold months, when we are closest to the Sun, we are the fastest in our orbit in space. In July, the farther we are from the Sun, the slower we move.
Before placing the candle in your Jack-O-Lantern, sprinkle the lid with spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice. The heat of the candle warms the spices and sends a delicious fragrance into the air. The first day of spring 2022 has passed: Sunday, March 20, 2022 (281 days ago). Calendar for 2022
Please note: the dates listed on this page are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for practical purposes. While spring begins and ends at the same time throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the date of the first day of spring varies from location to location depending on the location’s time zone. See the explanations below for more details.
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The first day of spring marks the beginning of the spring season, one of the four seasons that make up the year.
Astronomical first day of spring versus meteorological first day of spring There are different ways of defining the start and end dates of spring. The two most commonly used are based on the astronomical and meteorological calendars. Astronomical and meteorological spring begins and ends on different dates.
Astronomical First Day of Spring In the astronomical calendar, the dates of the beginning and end of spring are based on the change in the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun and the resulting solar events of the equinoxes and solstices. In the northern hemisphere, winter ends and spring begins at the time of the March equinox, which occurs every year between March 19 and 21. Spring ends and summer begins at the time of the June solstice, which occurs every year between June 20 and 22. In the southern hemisphere, spring lasts from the September equinox (September 21 to 24) to the December solstice (December 20 to 23).
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The spring start and end dates given on this page are the astronomical dates of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which for practical purposes is equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT – UK time zone). While spring begins and ends at the same time throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the date and local time varies from place to place depending on the year and time zone of the location. For locations ahead of UTC (further east) it may fall the next day, and for locations behind UTC (further west) it may fall the day before. To find the exact date and time of spring 2023 in your area, use this seasonal calculator.
Meteorological first day of spring Meteorologists, on the other hand, define seasons based on climatic conditions and annual temperature cycle. It is important for them to be able to compare the same time period in different years. The length of the astronomical season varies between 89 and 93 days, while the length of the meteorological season is less variable and is fixed at 90 days for the winter of a non-leap year (91 days in a leap year), 92 days for spring and summer, and 91 days for autumn. While the exact definition of the season’s timing and length may vary in different areas based on local conditions, in most of the Northern Hemisphere meteorological spring is usually defined as the three months of March, April, and May, the first day of spring being March. 1, and the last day of spring is May 31.
There is no “official rule” of spring definition to use, and different countries follow different conventions. Most of North America and Europe use astronomical spring, while Australia and New Zealand use meteorological spring (but, since these countries are in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite and spring there lasts from September to November). In other cultures, for example, in the traditional Chinese calendar and in Celtic traditions, the March equinox is considered