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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published March 19 2013

Weather Talk: ‘First day of spring’ more of an astronomical event

By definition, a pet peeve is an annoyance that bothers someone more than it bothers most people, suggesting that the person is maybe letting the annoyance bother them more than it really should. Well, I have a pet peeve, which is people who contrast our ongoing winter weather with today being “the first day of spring.”

First of all, how can the first day of spring in Fargo-Moorhead happen on the same day as the one in Miami? Secondly, with all of the natural variability in weather, why should spring weather begin on the same day each year?

The fact is, the “first day of spring” is so-called because it is the vernal equinox, one of two days a year when day and night are approximately of equal length all over the world.

Also, it signals the start of half a year in which the days will be longer than the nights over the Northern Hemisphere. This is an astronomical event of some significance. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the weather.


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