Spring has arrived! (meteorologically speaking)

Published: Mar. 2, 2016 at 1:43 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - March 1 marks the beginning of meteorological spring.  It's a time when weather enthusiasts can celebrate a new season before the astronomical season officially begins.

Why do we do this?

The Earth's orbit and equinoxes vary slightly each year, which is why the seasons don't always begin on the same date. Meteorological seasons make it easier to accurately collect climate data based on our temperature cycle and calendar.

Here's the breakdown of our meteorological seasons

  • Spring: March 1 - May 31
  • Summer: June 1 - August 31
  • Fall: September 1 - November 30
  • Winter: December 1 - February 28

Astronomical spring, or vernal equinox, will officially begin at 9:30 p.m. MST on Saturday, March 19, when the angle of the sun will be at 0°.  Your calendars may say spring begins on March 20, but that's because the equinox occurs at 04:30 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) on the 20; which is 7 hours ahead of mountain standard time in Arizona.

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