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Spring is almost here!

Did you know tomorrow, March 19th is the first day of spring? It seems like March has flown by so far! Tomorrow marks the first day of the spring equinox. We experience two equinoxes a year with one in the spring and one in the fall. An equinox can be described as all areas on the globe seeing almost completely equal periods of day and night.

Diagram showing Earth’s rotation around the sun throughout one year. Image source: https://www.weather.gov/cle/Seasons

As seen on the image above, we have recently been facing furthest away from the sun. This occurs in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months of December through mid-March. During the equinoxes, Earth is not tilted towards or away from the sun. The diagram shows that we are tilted directly towards or directly away from the sun during the winter and summer solstice. Since it takes us a year to rotate around the sun, it also takes Earth awhile to tilt completely toward the sun during the solstices. This is a process that occurs over a period of time. Tomorrow on March 19th we will begin our journey where we start to tilt closer to the sun. Our complete and maximum tilt will not occur until the summer solstice, though.

Aside from an astronomical viewpoint, spring is full of things to look forward to as we leave winter behind! Here are some of those things…

-longer days

-flowers and trees start to bloom

-warmer temperatures so you can go outside more often

-often times people like to view spring as a “reset” in terms of cleaning and forming some new habits

One important thing to remember about spring is that it is very much a transitionary period from winter to summer. As the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt closer to the sun in order to see its maximum tilt during the summer solstice, we experience a lot of fluctuation. This includes temperature swings and some weather extremes. While some days we may experience near-freezing temperatures, other days we can see temperatures near the 70s with thunderstorms. This is good to keep in mind as this is why we see severe weather during this time. It is always best to prepare yourself and others you know for extreme weather events because they are always possible. Staying weather aware during these next few months will be crucial. We hope that you have a great start to the spring season!

-Weather Forecaster Rachel Stinger

Sources:

https://www.weather.gov/cle/Seasons

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