It’s the universal change of time across the world. The equinox signals the beginning of a new season.

But what is the equinox? It’s when the sun’s most direct rays are over the equator. Those direct rays continue to travel south, sending the southern hemisphere into their spring and us into our fall. We’re not getting the bulk of the sun’s energy in the U.S now so that means we’re getting sent into our colder seasons.

Our next three months for temperatures don’t have a signal either way of above or below average. You have to take this map (below) with a grain of salt because it encompasses October through December. Each month could look vastly different than the other. But there isn’t a larger pattern right now that gives favor to above or below average.

As far as precipitation, it could go either way as well. There isn’t a defining feature as of now that’s hinting at above and below normal.

It’s also important to remember that there are other features around the globe that can only be predicted a few weeks out. So if we end up having, for example, a rainier or warmer than normal fall, it could be due to one of these circulations around the globe that can’t be seen this far out.

A few interesting facts you may not know about the equinox. It’s a common belief that we get exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night on the equinox. That does happen at the equator. But because of the curvature of the earth, that’s not true for all of us. In fact, our equal parts day and night here in North Dakota will be on Sunday, September 25, 2022.

The Fall equinox is usually on September 22 or 23 but every so often it falls on September 24. The last time that happened was in 1931. The next time that happens won’t be until 2303.

NASA calls this the “aurora season” because geomagnetic storms happen twice as frequently as the annual average. Meaning this is the time to look out for those dancing lights.

The equinox happens at a specific time of day. This year, it happens at 8:03 p.m. central time on September 22, 2022. That’s when the sun’s direct rays will officially cross the equator