Weather Whys: The Spring Equinox And The Myths

People around the world are different in many ways…whether it’s religion, culture, food or holidays  But there is one thing we have in common. We all recognize the Spring Equinox, even if we celebrate in different ways. 

Celebrating the change of the seasons has been a long-standing tradition. We typically get excited on the first day of Spring and mark the entire day as the beginning. But there’s a particular moment when Spring is official. 

It’s when the sun’s rays are directly over the equator and that happens today at 4:58 pm central time today. We call this the equinox. 

After today, the sun’s 90-degree rays will climb to a higher latitude until it reaches what’s called the Tropic of Cancer. This happens to be the start of our Summer and when we have the most intense Sun. 

Today also marks the official start of Fall for the Southern Hemisphere. Our friends “down under” are heading into their colder months. While our sun angles are getting higher, theirs are getting lower. 

A common myth is that the Spring Equinox always happens on March 21st. In reality, it can happen anywhere from the 19th through the 21st. The last time we had Spring begin on the 21st was in 2007 and the next time it will in the year 2101. March 19th is the most common day for the Spring Equinox. 

It’s on this day that you’ll often hear that you can balance an egg or a broomstick because of Earth’s magnetic field being a little more balanced. This is simply not true. You can balance an egg or a broomstick any other day of the year. 


And speaking of Earth’s magnetic field, according to a recent NASA study, the sun and the earth have a better magnetic connection which means Spring is the best time to see the Auroras. 

Something unique about year’s equinox is that we have a full moon right now. The March full moon is called the worm moon but since it’s happening today, it’s being called the equinox moon. 

Another common myth is that we have exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. Because of our position on the earth, that already happened for us over the weekend. Right now we’re at 12 hours and 9 minutes of daylight. 
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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