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Meteorological vs. Astronomical Spring: What’s the difference?

todayMarch 2, 2024 4

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Yesterday, March 1, was the first day of meteorological spring. But what exactly is meteorological spring? And how is different than astronomical spring, or the spring that we know of? Let’s break it down.

Meteorological spring starts on March 1 and ends on May 31 each year. This is because meteorological spring is based on the annual temperature cycle. Meteorological spring starts about 20 days before astronomical spring, which starts on March 19 this year.

Meteorological spring represents the time when weather transitions from cold to warm. March, April, and May are the months that represent meteorological spring. The start and end dates for meteorological seasons never change, which allows for data and statistics to be collected more easily. The dates for the meteorological seasons are as follows:

Spring: March 1 – May 31

Summer: June 1 – August 31

Fall: September 1 – November 31

Winter: December 1 – February 28 (or 29 for leap year)

Astronomical seasons, or the seasons we see listed on the calendar, are based on the position of Earth relative to the Sun. For astronomical spring, the start date depends on the day when the Sun’s highest point is over the equator before heading into the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the spring equinox. This year, it will happen approximately at 11:06 pm on March 19.

Unlike meteorological seasons, astronomical seasons’ length varies each year. They usually vary between 89 and 93 days in length depending on the calendar that year. The astronomical seasons are as follows:

Spring Equinox: around March 21

Summer Solstice: around June 21

Autumnal Equinox: around September 22

Winter Solstice: around December 22

​ ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Yesterday, March 1, was the first day of meteorological spring. But what exactly is meteorological spring? And how is different than astronomical spring, or the spring that we know of? Let’s break it down.

Meteorological spring starts on March 1 and ends on May 31 each year. This is because meteorological spring is based on the annual temperature cycle. Meteorological spring starts about 20 days before astronomical spring, which starts on March 19 this year.

Meteorological spring represents the time when weather transitions from cold to warm. March, April, and May are the months that represent meteorological spring. The start and end dates for meteorological seasons never change, which allows for data and statistics to be collected more easily. The dates for the meteorological seasons are as follows:

Spring: March 1 – May 31

Summer: June 1 – August 31

Fall: September 1 – November 31

Winter: December 1 – February 28 (or 29 for leap year)

Astronomical seasons, or the seasons we see listed on the calendar, are based on the position of Earth relative to the Sun. For astronomical spring, the start date depends on the day when the Sun’s highest point is over the equator before heading into the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the spring equinox. This year, it will happen approximately at 11:06 pm on March 19.

Unlike meteorological seasons, astronomical seasons’ length varies each year. They usually vary between 89 and 93 days in length depending on the calendar that year. The astronomical seasons are as follows:

Spring Equinox: around March 21

Summer Solstice: around June 21

Autumnal Equinox: around September 22

Winter Solstice: around December 22 Read More Weather BlogRochesterFirst  

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