Spring has arrived! | WOODTV.com

It’s spring! (Astronomical Spring). Today is the spring or vernal equinox. The official start of spring is at 11:33 a.m. this Sunday.

The sun is directly overhead at solar noon at the equator today.

“Equinox” means “equal night” and at the spring and fall equinoxes there is equal day and night all over the Earth. Now, if you see the sunrise and sunset for today (7:45 a.m. and 7:54 p.m. for Gr. Rapids), you will notice that the day is not exactly 12 hours. It is 12 hours and 9 minutes. There are two reasons for this. First, we don’t measure sunrise and sunset from the middle of the sun. Sunrise is when the upper tip of the sun first appears over a totally flat horizon. Sunset is when the last or upper point of the sun disappears over a totally flat horizon. The second reason is that light bends quite a bit as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

From March 12 to 26, daylight increases the fastest, at 2 minutes and 56 seconds each day. This week we will gain 20 minutes and 32 seconds of daylight.

Image of the South Pole taken on March 20, 2020

Today we have (technically) the only sunrise of the year at the North Pole and the only sunset of the year at the North Pole. At the North Pole, we will have continuous daylight for the next 6 months. At the South Pole, it’s the end of summer. However, it is still “winter” at the South Pole:

The weather at the South Pole on Sunday morning
Here is the difference between astronomical spring and meteorological spring

Technically, the 3 coldest months of the year are from December 5th to March 5th.

Blooming crocuses at the Steffens last week.

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