Spring Equinox Monday March 20 And Daylight Already Longer
Spring officially begins at 5:24 PM on Monday March 20, 2023. That is when the sun’s direct rays will be closer to the Equator, set to be focused on the Northern Hemisphere for the next six months. With longer daylight and shorter nights, temperatures will inevitably get warmer.
What may be a surprise is that we already have had longer daylight than nights for a few days. This post is dedicated to explain more about that and some myths.
What is the Equinox?
There are a few ways of looking at this day. First, it is the halfway point between the summer solstice and winter solstice. Those are the days when the sun reaches its northern and southern most points in the sky each year. For the northern hemisphere, today marks the first day of spring, and a significant change in temperature.
If we plot the angle of the sun (as seen here), the Vernal Equinox is a day that has the angle halfway between the lowest point during the winter solstice (December 21) and highest point during the summer solstice (June 21).
3 Reasons Daylight is NOT Equal Already
Daylight is NOT equal with darkness on this day. I was taught that in grade school, but it is not correct. Actually, we already have more daylight than darkness.
1. The sun is a disk, not a dot!
2. Atmospheric Refraction.
Light bends through the atmosphere. So it may be seen earlier than it would if there was no atmosphere to slow it down and bend the solar radiation.
This video may help the explanation. I love the enthusiasm of this narrator.
3. Earth’s Motion
Compare The Sun Angle Change In March
Mid Day Sun in Baltimore
+ 11.8º HIGHER IN THE SKY By the end of March
MARCH 1st 3-D
MARCH 31st 3-D
On Monday, Baltimore will have 12 hours, 8 minutes and 42 seconds of daylight. That is due to the bending of light in the atmosphere. When the sun actually sets based on a straight line and curvature of the planet, the light actually bends around that curve. So we get a few extra minutes on the front and back end (sunrise and sunset).
- March 17th: Our first day with over 12 hours of sunlight
- +2 min 38 sec: The amount of additional daylight we get each day this week.
- March 20 ~ 12 hrs 08 min
- March 31 ~ 12 hrs 37 min
We will GAIN 28 minutes of more daylight by the end of this month.
Seasons: Astronomical and Meteorological
Balancing an Egg?
The word equinox sounds a lot like ‘equal’, and that is how it is often introduced in an earth science class. My physics teaching in High School tried to convince the class that the equal force of the sun’s gravitational pull on the equator would allow an egg to stand on it’s end. Sadly, that is not true! It’s a demonstration I continue to see in both autumn and spring.
Last week during my visit to St Peter’s Christian School, Vivian Rumberger asked me about this. She said she does it every year, and can balance the eggs for a day. But when the day ends, they fall over. This is her photo and she swears by it. For fun, I will try this with my kids.
A friend of mine actually tried this many years ago on TV. Since he could not duplicate it, he used double sided tape.
Video From National Geographic
The temperatures are warming on average of about one degree every two days. Baltimore will gain an additional 4 degrees by the end of the month.
Average High On March 20th = 56ºF
Average High On March 31st = 60ºF
In April temps jump from an Average of 61ºF on the 1st to 72ºF on the 30th!
HOT WEEK included two high records
- 86ºF on the 12th and
- 85ºF on the 13th
- 1.4″ Snow on the 24th
Yes, we can still get some snow in Baltimore, but I think many people are ready for that to end after a poor showing this winter. However, Baltimore just have the LOWEST winter snow on record! The latest dates on the calendar with snow in Baltimore:
Largest Late Season Storm:
March 29 1942 – 21.9″ Snow
This ranks as the 7th ALL TIME largest snowfall on record!
Late Season Snow
Over 1 Inch
April 11 = 2 inches in 1894
April 28 = 0.1 inch in 1898
Falling Snow Observed
May 11 = Trace in 1951
REPORT: March Snow and Extreme Weather History
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Winter History: Low Snow And Late Starts
See my research based on Baltimore data since 1883.
RESTATING MY MESSAGE ABOUT DYSLEXIA
I am aware there are some spelling and grammar typos, and occasional other glitches. I take responsibility for my mistakes, and even the computer glitches I may miss.
I have made a few public statements over the years, but if you are new here you may have missed it:
I have dyslexia, and found out during my second year at Cornell University. It didn’t stop me from getting my meteorology degree, and being first to get the AMS CBM in the Baltimore/Washington region. One of my professors told me that I had made it that far without knowing, and to not let it be a crutch going forward. That was Mark Wysocki and he was absolutely correct!
I do miss my mistakes in my own proofreading. The autocorrect spell check on my computer sometimes does an injustice to make it worse. I also can make mistakes in forecasting. No one is perfect predicting the future.
All of the maps and information are accurate. The ‘wordy’ stuff can get sticky.
There has been no editor that can check my work when I needed it and have it ready to send out in a newsworthy timeline. Barbara Werner is a member of the web team that helps me maintain this site. She has taken it upon herself to edit typos, when she is able. That could be AFTER you read this.
I accept this and perhaps proves what you read is really from me…
It’s part of my charm.
STEM Assemblies/In School Fields Trips Are Back
Click to see more and ‘Book’ a visit to your school
My Winter Outlook: Not A Typical La Niña!
I see many factors to support colder influence with multiple systems. Early and later in winter. Check it out. https://justinweather.com/2022/11/22/winter-outlook-2023-for-snow-not-typical-la-nina-plus-polar-vortex-disruption/
Also See The Winter Outlook Series:
Farmer’s Almanac Comparison
Winter Outlook 2023 Early Look At Snow From Two Farmers Almanacs
Triple Dip La Niña Winter
CONNECTION TO WINTER?
If you want a snowy winter, this is what you might want to look for in the rest of the tropical season. https://justinweather.com/2022/08/31/record-august-for-no-named-tropical-storms-closer-look-at-snow-following/
Woolly Bear Caterpillars
Click to see Top 20 and MORE
Normals And Records: Maryland and Baltimore Climate History
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