Does spring start Sunday? It depends on which indicator is used

What season is it, anyway?

The mild winter isn’t the only confusing thing regarding the D.C. region’s weather. There are also two different markers for the start of spring.

Meteorological spring starts this Sunday, while astronomical spring begins March 19.

Meteorological spring always consists of March, April and May, while astronomical spring begins on the spring equinox.

So why the difference?

“Meteorologists organize the seasons in these nice, easy months to make statistical comparisons of climate data much easier,” said Storm Team4 meteorologist Matt Ritter.

“Astronomical seasons are based on equinoxes and solstices, which do not always fall on the same dates each year, making the comparisons more difficult.”

He said the current season will depend on who you ask.

“This weekend, the layperson should be saying it’s still winter,” Ritter said. “It won’t actually be spring until the equinox.”

The National Weather Service describes equinoxes as the two times of year, “when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a ‘nearly’ equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes.”

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John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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