RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — 5:24 p.m. Monday evening was the official start of spring, the moment the sun crossed directly over the equator ushering in the start of a new season.
Meteorologists have been saying it’s spring for a few weeks now, so are there in fact two springs: Meteorological and Astronomical? The answer is both yes and no.
Meteorological Spring begins March 1 and ends May 31. Meteorological spring always starts and ends on the same day, so consistency gives us better averages for our temperatures.
Monday we focused on astronomical spring, however, and there always tends to be some interesting information floating around whenever we talk about the equinox, so let’s talk fact or fiction.
- Day and night are totally equal on the equinox. This is fiction. Both hemispheres of the Earth get the Sun’s rays equally on the equinox, but there is actually slightly more daylight than night the day of the equinox since the atmosphere refracts the light up ever so slightly.
- The sun rises due east and sets due west on the equinox. This is fact. No matter where you are on earth (With the exception of the North and South Poles) you will see the sun rise due east, and set due west.
- You can stand an egg on end or balance a broom only on the equinox. This is fiction. You can balance an egg, or broom, or anything else any day, any time. It’s simple physics.
Bottom line, even though it didn’t feel like it Monday, spring has sprung, and the days are now getting longer and warmer.