The record warmth this week across much of the eastern United States may have people thinking thoughts of spring. It just so happens that springtime is closer than you think, meteorologically speaking.
In the meteorological community spring gets a jump start on the astronomical date dictated by the earth’s tilt in its travel around the sun.
Meteorological Spring begins March 1 and ends May 31. Astronomical spring this year begins at 10:15 AM on Tuesday, March 20 and ends at the start of summer, on Thursday, June 21 at 4:07 AM.
So why the difference between meteorological and astronomical season? Astronomical seasons are based on the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun, while meteorological seasons are based on the annual temperature fluctuation.
Those in the atmospheric sciences divide the year in actual three month seasons.
December through February are the coldest months in the northern hemisphere and this time period is winter to meteorologists. Meteorological spring are the months of March – May. Summer lasts from the first of June through the end of August. Which leaves September, October and November for meteorological autumn.
Meteorologist Mike Morrison