Happy Meteorological Spring!

After February 2019’s unreasonable insistence on winter weather, today’s evidence above, I’m all too eager for spring. To have it happen three weeks earlier than the Vernal Equinox – around March 21st – would be psychologically uplifting, right?

Guess what? March 1st is the first day of meteorological spring. Yip-yip-yippee! Spring starts today!

Winter 2018-19 made me feel so housebound. I almost wept when this appeared two wintery weeks ago.

Perhaps you knew this? I didn’t. I’m thankful to UK author Lia Leendertz for educating me in her book  The Almanac – her 2018 edition is on my phone for reading on the subway.

Unlike astronomical seasons, marked by the earth’s relationship to the sun (see “equinox” and “solstice”), meteorological seasons are, well, logical. Each is three months long and starts on the 1st of the month. Why, you ask? So meteorologists can compare apples to apples (or snow days to snow days) when gathering and comparing weather statistics and other info used for forecasting, that’s why.

Hippeastrum ‘Moonlight’ was this year’s spring harbinger.

Wondering who had the idea to “move” the date, and when, sent me down a bottomless Google rabbit hole this morning. Didn’t find my answer, but did blunder into a few interesting burrows.

If you’re geeky like me, f’rinstance, your inner Spock will find this long read about the history of the immensely complex practice of weather forecasting (especially before computers)…fascinating.

Although the article says nothing on the topic, this newer way of marking seasons might have arisen with numerical weather prediction in and around the 1870s. Mathematics loves precision.

To see if the experts knew when and how it all came about, I emailed the ones who issue the Ontario Weather Review each month. A Warning Preparedness Meteorologist at the Meteorological Service of Canada kindly wrote me back right away, “No idea.”

Well, at least we’re on the same page.

Undaunted, I whipped an email off to the press office of the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization asking the same question. I’ll tell you when I know.

Yes, you can count on me to keep on top of all the pressing issues of the day.

Happy Psychological Spring!


  1. I have used these seasons for years without knowing it was official somewhere. People around me think I’m nuts. But it is so logical and easy to remember. Anything you use is arbitrary, anyway. Why not use something that is easy.
    Met you at Get the jump on Spring (2020).

    1. It’s certainly easier than having to remember the exact date of the “springquinox” every year. Happy Spring to you, Barry, whenever it comes.

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