By Paul T. Choate
March 19, 2013. It’s almost equinox time again. Spring will officially begin in the Northern Hemisphere at 7:02 a.m. EST on Wednesday, March 20. The coming of spring typically means warmer weather but unfortunately that will not be the case for High Country residents in the coming days. However, the flowers are beginning to bloom and although it won’t feel like springtime just yet, at least it has started looking like it.
“Today will be as ‘warm’ a day we see for at least a week,” said Ray’s Weather Center. “A significant jolt of Arctic air knocks us back in time Wednesday night and helps to set the stage for a long cold weekend.”
Wednesday night will have some of the coldest temperatures the High Country has seen in a while, with the mercury falling into the teens. After that, temperatures are not likely to get back to 50 degrees or more until next Wednesday. The rest of this week will feature daytime highs of 30s to low 40s and even some chances of scattered snow showers.
The arrival of spring also marks longer days ahead. Interesting to note, the idea behind the vernal equinox is that on the first day of spring there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, but it rarely works out that way, according to About.com. Although there is always a day each year when the number of hours of light and darkness are exactly equal, that typically occurs prior to the equinox.
That remains true this year, with the time period when the sun is up already being longer than the period of darkness by nine minutes. On the first day of spring, the sun will rise at 7:29 a.m. and will set at 7:38 p.m.
Also interesting to note, while tomorrow marks the first day of spring for those in the Northern Hemisphere it signals the arrival of fall in the Southern Hemisphere as their autumnal equinox.
To learn more about the equinox, visit almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox. To stay on top of the weather locally, visit raysweather.com.