Spring has sprung! Depending on who you ask… March 1st marks the first day of “Meteorological Spring.”
By the usual definition, Spring begins on the Vernal Equinox (this year it’s March 19) and ends on the Summer Solstice (this year it’s June 20). But, because of leap years and variations in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, those dates vary from year to year.
If you go by the equinox/solstice definition, seasons can last anywhere from 89 to 93 days. That makes it difficult for us meteorologists to compare weather data from one year to the next.
To solve that problem, we instead use “meteorological seasons” that are based on the months.
- Meteorological Spring: March, April, May
- Meteorological Summer: June, July, August
- Meteorological Fall: September, October, November
- Meteorological Winter: December, January, February
This means that the length of our seasons are constant… at least, usually! Every once in a while a leap year tacks an extra day on to our winters. But that one extra day every 4 years is a lot easier to deal with than differing lengths for different seasons year after year.
So tell your friends, Spring is (kind of) here! And if you don’t believe us meteorologists, take it from some of the local ice cream shops opening up today…