What is the first thing you hear most people taking about at the beginning of March? Most likely, you will hear how they are so done with winter, and how they are most ready for Spring. They are looking forward to the ice and snow melting, for temperatures to start rising, and for flowers to start to bloom. We all want to get outside and get some sunshine!
So, what does the arrival of the second season of the calendar year really signify? All of the aforementioned things happen due to some really purposeful positioning of the earth in the heavens 😉 Being a bit of a science geek myself, allow me to share a little bit of what I have come to know about the science of Spring:
The arrival of Spring begins with the vernal equinox. “Vernal” is a Latin-rooted word, meaning “of, or related to, or occurring in the spring.” And the word equinox refers to a time of the year when the sun is directly above the equator and both day and night are equal in length. There are two times in the year when this occurs, and the vernal equinox is the one that happens in the Spring.
The date of the start of Spring varies. Why is that? I think the long and short of it has to do with the length of a day changes, the precession of the earth’s axis, and a few other factors. All I know is that for part of my childhood (1969 – 1981), March 21st heralded the beginning of this season. However, from 1981 until 2102 (yes, you read that correctly, no typos) we in the Northern Hemisphere will start Spring no later than March 20*. Moreover, next year in 2016, Spring will come for us on March 19!
Some other fun news about Spring? Its lasts until the summer solstice (June 20 or June 21), and the days are getting progressively longer. The Earth’s axis begins to tilt towards the sun. There are more rain showers, particularly in April.
It is a pretty cool thing, the arrival of spring. I have enjoyed the snow and the winter, but I am thankful that God created Spring to arrive on its heels. We have less than two weeks to go…bring on Spring!
Waiting to feel a warm breeze on my face,
*please note: in the Southern Hemisphere, the vernal equinox arrives in September, and for the same reasons noted above.
**some scientific info gathered from Space.com, Britannica.com, and Kidsplayandcreate.com