Spring 2022: When is Spring 2022, when is the first day of the season and what is the Spring equinox?
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Spring marks the return of the sun for countries in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing with it brighter, sunnier and warmer weather.
And while the spring air in Scotland often remains for the most part crisp and on the chilly side, the sun’s warm glow can be felt far more as it jolts nature back into life and Easter approaches.
But despite the fact that the mornings have already begun to get lighter and the weather looks to be less stormy than in February, there is an exact date which formally represents the arrival of spring.
So here’s when Spring 2022 will arrive in the UK, what to expect and what the Spring equinox actually is.
When is Spring 2022?
Spring will officially begin on Sunday 20 March 2022, with this date annually marking the Spring equinox.
March is often identified as the spring month and when the shift to warmer and lighter weather noticeably takes place.
This is why many meteorologists consider spring to begin on 1 March and last until approximately 31 May in accordance with the UK’s annual weather cycle.
But spring will officially end on Tuesday 21 June, which is when the Summer solstice will take place to mark the longest day of sunlight in the year.
What is the spring equinox?
Taking place twice a year in autumn and spring, the spring equinox is when the sun crosses the equator into the Northern Hemisphere to bring equal periods of day and night.
The word ‘equinox’ is rooted in Latin terms for ‘equal’ (aequus) and ‘night’ (nox).
It occurs in both March and September every year, with the dates changing every so often with the sun’s astronomical calendar.
For countries in the Southern Hemisphere such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the spring equinox sees the arrival of autumn.
The equinox is different to the solstice, which marks the shortest and longest days of the year that come with the more dramatic seasonal changes of summer and winter in the northern hemisphere.
Meteorologists consider spring to begin on 1 March and last until 31 May - based on the annual temperature cycle - but spring will officially end on Tuesday 21 June, when the solstice takes place.
What changes take place in spring?
Although spring officially begins on 20 March, its arrival is often reflected in the visible changes to the UK’s landscape, climate and wildlife.
Temperatures remain low, reaching around or slightly above 10C on warmer days, with 2011 marking the warmest spring on record with an average daytime temperature of 9.2C according to the Met Office.
Snow, especially in Scotland, is far from uncommon in spring – with more snow typically falling in March than in the festive month of December – but is less commonly seen in southern and central Scotland when the season officially arrives in late March.
But what we know for sure is that spring sees flowers begin to bloom and trees blossom across the country, as pollen counts rise thanks to flowers opening up in the warmer weather.
Baby animals are also a familiar sight in spring, with many lambs and calves to be spotted in fields as their early growth goes hand in hand with that of grass and grains.