Spring Equinox and the Effects on Weather

Photo by Krystina Rogers


Welcome To The Spring Equinox

 March 20th Was The First Day of Spring

 The word equinox has Latin origins and translates to say “equal night” which is an intriguing note. The length of the first day of Spring is just about equal around the globe. In the days that follow the equinox, sunlight hours increase. Sunrise occurs earlier each morning and sunset is later each evening.

 What happens in the sky on the March Equinox is that the Sun will cross what it known as the celestial equator from north to south. Following the crossing of the Sun, the Northern Hemisphere enters Spring when it tilts towards the Sun. The Southern Hemisphere ends up tilting away from the Sun and the equinox marks the beginning of Autumn.


How Spring Differs In the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

 The Earth has a number of opposites which become clear when seasons change in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. For example, in the Northern Hemisphere Spring begins in March. In the Southern Hemisphere Spring is in September. September is the start of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere which the month of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere.


How Weather In Spring Differs In The Hemispheres

The Coriolis force deflects to the right and causes hurricanes to spin counter-clockwise – in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the effect on weather in March is greater as the Earth rotates eastward. All weather patterns including low-pressure areas, wind and hurricanes have their paths of motion deflected to the right, or counter-clockwise. The opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere.


How The Climate Is Different in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres 

There is much more land mass above the Equator. This also means there is more ocean located below the Equator. Water does not warm or cool as quickly as land does which means the climate in the Southern Hemisphere is milder than the climate in the Northern Hemisphere. This fact explains why temperature in March differs so much from one Hemisphere to the other.


Weather Changes In Spring

In the Northern Hemisphere weather in Spring is best described as unstable. As the days grow longer, warm air moves from lower latitudes and collides with cold air that pushes down from higher latitudes. This can result is snow melting in higher elevations creating risks of flooding if it occurs too rapidly. The jet stream also has a greater impact on weather at this time of year.

In North America, the Rocky Mountains create a wall preventing hot and cold air masses from moving to the east and end up contributing to the unstable weather. The effect of the Rockies results in higher tornado activity, increased super cell thunderstorm development and other weather conditions that pose much greater threats than any other time of the year.


WeatherBug Keeps You Up-To-Date On Weather Forecasts In March

Turn to WeatherBug for accurate data related to all weather conditions. Featuring map layers and alerts that can warn you of a severe storm developing in your area. Find us at www.weatherbug.com or visit your favorite app store to download our app.



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