RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The vernal equinox officially begins at 11:49 p.m. Thursday!
The official definition of spring from the American Meteorological Society is: The equinox at which the sun crosses the celestial equator from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere.
At that specific time, the Earth will reach the point in its orbit where its axis isn’t tilted toward or away from the sun.
Now, this is the earliest start to spring in 124 years. Normally, spring starts March 20th or March 21st on the calendar.
2 reasons why it is different this year: Daylight saving time and leap years, not just the one we just had.
According to space.com we can thank the year 2000. It takes around 365.25 days for Earth to complete one rotation around the sun, but can vary from year to year. Leap years must be evenly divisible by four, but if the year is also evenly divisible by 100, it is not a leap year. If the year is also divisible by 400, it is a leap year. 2000 had 366 days. The addition of that extra day meant that spring was inevitably going to occur earlier.
Andrew Freiden makes a good argument though..
Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.