- The vernal (aka spring) equinox will take place this Sunday, March 20 at 11:33 a.m. EDT.
- On Sunday there will be approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness almost everywhere on Earth.
- Meteorologists, who define the seasons differently, said spring began on March 1.
Finally, spring 2022 is finally here. The vernal (aka spring) equinox — which marks the start of astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere — occurred at 11:33 a.m. EDT on Sunday.
The equinox marks the precise moment when the sun’s rays shine directly on the earth’s equator.
(For people outside the Eastern Time Zone, it was 10:33 a.m. CDT, 9:33 a.m. MDT, and 8:33 a.m. PDT.)
Sunday was one of two days of the year – the other being the day of the autumnal equinox in September – when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither towards nor away from the sun, which gives about 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness almost anywhere on Earth.
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It’s also one of only two days of the year when almost every point on Earth – except the poles – experiences a sunrise in the east and a sunset in the west.
It is therefore an “equal night”, which is the origin of the word equinox: the two Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night), according to the National Weather Service.
Each day for the next three months, the sun will rise higher in the sky – and the daily amount of daylight longer – until the summer solstice in June.
Meteorologists, who define the seasons differently, said spring began on March 1.
And for people in the southern hemisphere, it’s the autumnal equinox this Sunday, marking the first day of autumn.
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As for spring weather, federal forecasters announced Thursday that most of the country will experience warmer than average temperatures this spring, especially in the southern Rockies and southern Plains.
But if you’re still looking to stay cool this spring, below-average temperatures are very likely in parts of the Pacific Northwest, NOAA said.
Overall, drought will be the main weather story for much of the country this spring, forecasters said, with only an area around the Great Lakes to Kentucky expected to be wetter than normal.
Already, 60% of the nation is in some form of drought, the greatest drought blanket since 2013, said Jon Gottschalck, chief of operational forecasting at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Contributor: The Associated Press