Spring 2021: when does spring start, what’s the first day of the season - and when do the clocks go forward?

Spring is officially recognised as the day when the sun moves back into the Northern Hemisphere

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 9:24 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 8:47 am

As the weather becomes milder and the days longer – you might be wondering if springtime is finally here?

Flowers should begin to bloom soon and catching up with our friends and family in our gardens is now a real possibility.

So, when is the first official day of spring, and can what can we expect to welcome in the springtime? This is what you need to know.

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Lambs are most likely to be born in spring, when food supply is high (Picture: Shutterstock)

When is Spring 2021?

Spring will begin on 20 March 2021, as this is the date of the Spring Equinox.

This means the sun will move back into the northern hemisphere and both halves of the Earth will have equal days of sunlight.

Every day following this, until the Autumn equinox, the northern hemisphere will receive more sunlight than the southern hemisphere.

Despite this specified date for the start of spring, meteorologists consider spring to begin on 1 March and last until 31 May - based on the annual temperature cycle.

Spring will officially end on 21 June, this is when the solstice will take place, the longest day of sunlight in the year.

When do the clocks go forward?

Clocks go forward on Sunday, 28 March 2021, at 1am.

They will go back on Sunday 31 October, at 2am.

Will the weather be warmer from 20 March?

Although 20 March will be the first official day of spring, the season can often be determined phenologically (biologically).

This is because the lighter, warmer days cause changes to take place in nature.

The beginning of March is still winter and more snow typically falls in March (4.2 days) than in December (3.9 days).

However, as Spring starts later in March, is highly unlikely that snow will fall later in the month, with the exception of more northerly areas such as the Shetland Islands, which still receive an average of nine days of snowfall throughout the month.

The average UK temperature in March is around 10C, but by April it has risen to 13C and by May, we can expect temperatures of 17 and 18C.

According to the Met Office, the most southern parts of the UK are likely to experience hotter temperatures than those experienced in northern Scotland - which tend to have a milder spring.

What other changes can we expect in spring?

Spring is a time where arguably some of the most significant changes happen in nature.

People tend to smell and see more of nature’s beauty in spring, and this is not just due to stunning floral blooms in your garden. Spring results in more moisture in the air, which heightens our sense of smell.

Additionally, the pollen count is heightened in spring, as flowers begin to open and fertilise in the warmer, damp climate.

It is also no coincidence that animal babies are mostly born in spring, and this is because they need plenty of food such as healthy grass, grains and flowers while they are growing.

Will lockdown be lifted by spring?

At present, up to four adults from two households are able to meet locally in any outdoor space, including in private gardens, for social and recreational purposes as well as exercise.

Outdoor non-contact sports and group exercise have also been allowed for adults in groups of up to 15 people.

From 26 April, the restrictions on outdoor socialising and exercise will be eased further too.

From that date, six people from up to three households will be able to meet outdoors - and with no mainland travel restrictions in place.

From 17 May, all restrictions on exercise outdoors will be lifted, as a return to adult contact sport is expected.

This is also when we could see the return to socialising indoors, the First Minister will provide a further update before these details are finalised.