Spring is Finally Here | Vernal Equinox Brings Greener Pastures

With all the wet weather of late, some may have thought we’d never get here.

ILLUSTRATION: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | Spring is finally here

Rain is in the forecast today, but put those thoughts and umbrellas aside for the moment because it’s finally spring!

Oh yes, it’s chilly and a bit cold outside, but go ahead, rejoice because at 5:58 p.m. the season officially changes in which – okay, we can get technical here for a moment –the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the sun. When that happens, the sun’s rays shine directly on the equator. It’s known as the vernal equinox, or simply spring has sprung to most.

After 165 days of temperatures not breaking the 80 degree farenheit mark, many welcome the more moderate weather to come as well.

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“The Earth isn’t straight,” explained Dylan Dryer, a meteorologist on the NBC’s Today Show. “It’s actually tilted at a 23-degree angle, so the Southern Hemisphere all winter long is facing closer to the sun. But as we get to spring and the Earth begins to rotate a little bit, because of the axis, everything turns. So, on the first day of spring is when the sun is actually directly over the equator equal day and equal nights – ideally 12 hours of each.

“So as this,” she added point to the Earth, continues to move around, we get into summertime, eventually the northern hemisphere tilts closer to the sun and we get warmer days because we’re tilting toward the sun.”

It all starts with the vernal equinox.

Most of California is no longer thinking about a drought after experiencing plenty of rain during the winter months and can now focus on celebrating the start of a new season.

For some, it may not feel like spring until Easter Sunday, which falls on April 21. The holiday traditionally is observed on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

Festivals around the world celebrate spring, including Passover and Easter in western culture and Holi in India, where colors fill the air.

Over the next several months, daylight hours will increase daily until the summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year and the official beginning of yet an new season – summer, which officially begins at 11:54 a.m. on Friday, June 21.