Today Is the First Day of Spring
By Hope Bidegainberry on March 19, 2020
Spring is here!
Today is the vernal equinox, which marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall in the Southern Hemisphere.
And this is actually the earliest spring in 124 years. NOT because of anything any groundhog predicted, though. It all has to do with Leap Days and Daylight Saving Time.
In 2000, we had a Leap Day. In the first year of other centuries, like the year 1700, the year 1800, and the year 1900, there wasn’t a Leap Day because years that are evenly divisible by 100 don’t get one.
But if a year is evenly divisible by 400, like the year 2000, then we DO have a Leap Day. Why? Because of some calculations made in the 1500s. Seriously.
SO . . . because 2000 was a day longer, it started pushing the time of the vernal equinox slightly earlier every year. Plus, in recent years, Daylight Saving Time has started earlier in the year, before the equinox, instead of after.
That brings us to now, and the equinox is today at 11:49 P.M. Eastern time. That’s the earliest it’s been since all these random factors collided back in 1896, when the vernal equinox was at 9:29 P.M. Eastern on March 19th.
I hope that’s all confused you enough to take your mind off what’s happening in the world.