When does Spring begin and what are the first signs it has arrived?
With the nights getting lighter and the weather getting a little milder, Spring is just around the corner.
But when does it officially start - and what are the first signs that it’s arrived?
Here’s everything you need to know about Spring, including the difference between astronomical and meteorological Spring.
When does Spring start this year?
This year, Spring starts on Friday 20 March 2020. It will end on Saturday 20 June.
According to the Met Office, “Astronomical seasons refer to the position of Earth's orbit in relation to the Sun, considering equinoxes and solstices.
This is due to the 23.5 degrees of tilt of the Earth's rotational axis concerning its orbit around the Sun.
“Since the seasons vary in length, the start date of a new season can fall on different days each year.”
However, the Met Office explains that “Meteorological seasons are instead based on the annual temperature cycle and measure the meteorological state, as well as coinciding with the calendar to determine a clear transition between the seasons.”
The meteorological seasons are split into four periods made up of three months each, in order to coincide with the Gregorian calendar, “making it easier for meteorological observing and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics,” adds the Met Office.
“By the meteorological calendar, spring will always start on 1 March; ending on 31 May.”
What are the first signs of Spring?
You may define Spring as the time when the nights get lighter and longer, or perhaps less chilly, with the Met Office explaining it as, “the transition season between winter and summer during which we see days getting longer, temperatures warming and plants blossoming in time for summer.
What is the weather usually like?
Although the weather can be temperamental during the period of Spring, it’s often warmer and drier than the winter and autumn months.
The Met Office explains that it is “often calm and dry due to the Atlantic losing heat during autumn and winter, leading to less heat and moisture being transferred to the atmosphere.”
The sun is high in the sky during springtime, which means temperatures can rise in the day, but then stay cool at night due to the “moderating effect of the ocean temperature.”
The Temperatures seen in the UK during Spring are “largely influenced by latitude, with northern parts of the UK such as Scotland seeing cooler temperatures compared to the lower latitudes and the southern UK experiencing warmer temperatures,” explains the Met Office.
Other signs that Spring has arrived
The National Trust also explains that, “You know spring has arrived when the woods and countryside is suddenly full of birdsong again – especially in the early morning.”
Alongside this, flowers, such as daffodils, can also often indicate the arrival of Spring.
“The variety of flowers on offer in spring is irresistible for bees, and they rely heavily on flower nectar in the early part of the season,” adds the National Trust.