Spring officially arrived this morning, Mar. 20 with the occurrence of the vernal equinox.
Traditionally, the first day of spring has been celebrated on Mar. 21; however, it has been reported that astronomers and calendar manufacturers alike now say that the spring season starts on Mar. 20, in all time zones in North America.
The 2020 spring equinox fell on Mar. 19, the earliest first day of spring in 124 years!
Spring equinox occurs when the sun is positioned directly over the Earth’s equator at 09:37 Universal Time; 5:37 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time or 2:37 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. At that particular moment, the sun will appear to shine directly overhead from a point 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of Meru, in Kenya, a city of approximately 241,000 residents.
From that moment until the occurrence of the summer solstice on Jun. 20, the sun will appear to migrate northward, and the length of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere will continue to increase. As the midday sun’s altitude gets progressively higher, the arc that it takes across the sky will also increase. On the date of the equinox, the sun will rise due east and will set due west. But during the coming days and weeks, as the sun’s direct rays are concentrated more and more on the Northern Hemisphere, its rising and setting positions will become increasingly oriented more to the north of due east and north of due west.
Regardless of what the weather is doing outside, the equinox marks the spring season’s official start.
So go out and enjoy the warmer weather, longer days and see what the Central Coast has been up to during what seems to have been one of the longest winters!