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Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox

by Kristin Walls

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Spring officially begins early tomorrow morning at 1:14am! Over the past week, it has felt more like summer with temperatures 20 to 25 degrees above the average. We have already broken 4 records over the last week, and we are aiming at breaking another tomorrow with temperatures soaring into the upper 80s! The record is 85 set in 1894. We haven’t seen temperatures this warm since the second week of September!

Spring equinox or also known as the vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.  The spring and fall equinoxes are the only dates with equal daylight and dark as the Sun crosses the equator.
So why 1:14 am (EDT)? Well, it is the exact moment the sun crosses the equator from south to north. In CDT, spring officially begins at 12:14am. For the western US and eastern Pacific, spring arrives tonight!
Why so early this year? It’s mainly because this year was a leap year. This is the earliest start to spring in 116 years! If this year weren’t a leap year, spring would come on March 21 and not March 20 at 1:14am. The equinoxes for the coming three years – 2013, 2014, 2015 – will all fall on March 20 as well. But – with each passing year – each equinox will come nearly 6 hours later by the clock. In the year 2016, the equinox would fall on March 21 – if 2016 weren’t a leap year.

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