The First Day of Spring 2018: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Spring Equinox
- Mar 20, 2018
Although it may not feel like it in some of the colder, snowy-er parts of the world, today is the first day of spring! The first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, also known as the vernal equinox, is on March 20, 2018.
While it’s fun to think about warmer weather, flowers, and sun during the first day of spring, there is actually a lot more that goes into this astronomical celebration. Keep reading to find out 5 things you may not have known about the spring equinox.
1. The Day and Night are the Same Lengths
The vernal equinox marks the start of spring when the day and night are the same lengths. This is a time for new beginnings, birth, and fresh starts. While the summer and winter solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year, equinoxes happen in between when the day and night are equal.
In Latin, equinox literally means “equal night.”Equinoxes occur when the sun shines directly at the equator on the only day of the year the tilt of the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the sun.
2. The Dates Change Depending on the Year
The spring equinox doesn’t occur on the same day every year, although it typically falls on the 19, 20, or 21. This is due to the timing of the sun crossing over the equator. Since the Earth’s orbit is always changing in relation to the sun and not every year on Earth has the same amount of days (think leap years!) the date isn’t always set in stone.
You can mark your calendar for 2019’s spring equinox as March 20 as well but in 2020, it will fall on the 19.
3. The Earth’s Tilt is Zero in Relation to the Sun
You know how we talked about the relation of the Earth to the sun? Well, it’s cool to note that the Earth’s tilt is zero in relation to the sun during the first day of spring. That means if you’re at the equator, the sun would be directly overhead. So if you work near the equator, make sure to pack extra sunscreen for the equinox.
4. There are Two Types of Cycles
You can determine the first day of spring in two ways: The astronomical cycle or the meteorological cycle. Most people use the astronomical cycle, which is always based on the March equinox. On the other hand, the meteorological cycle bases its first day on seasonal weather and temperature patterns. Our meteorologists like to pay attention to both as they love the coming of spring but understand that weather patterns might not make it feel like spring for quite some time after the equinox!
5. It Starts at 12:15 p.m.
Yes, there is a very specific time for when spring starts. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the time this year is 12:15 p.m. That means in the morning it will still be winter but in the afternoon you can celebrate spring!
Severe Spring Weather Preparedness
With spring comes more time outdoors and more chances for severe weather to directly injure employees, athletes, and visitors at a number of different facilities. Is your business prepared for spring’s severe weather conditions like thunderstorms, floods, and fluctuating temperatures?
If you’re not sure, you might want to take a free test ride of our latest weather visualization tool, Sferic Maps. Sferic Maps offers 40+ map layers to help organizations track real-time weather conditions and make weather-related decisions easier.
What else do you think our readers should know about the first day of spring? Leave your facts in the comments below and enjoy your spring!