Spring starts tomorrow
Finally the wettest winter for at least 248 years (records began in 1766) is coming to an end. Statistically speaking tomorrow is the first day of weather forecaster's spring.
There are three different theories on when spring officially starts; Weather Forecaster's Spring, Spring Equinox and Natural Spring.
WEATHER FORECASTER'S SPRING
To make life easy for compiling meteorological data the Met Office and other forecasters use simple blocks of three months for each season. The seasons are as follows:
Spring: March, April, May
Summer: June, July, August
Autumn: September, October, November
Winter: December, January, February
This is based around the astrological calendar. Summer starts on the longest day of the year called the summer solstice (traditionally the 21st June but can move a day either side dependent upon the year). Winter starts on the shortest day of the year (around the 21st December). Spring and Autumn Equinox fall exactly between the two. This year the spring equinox (start of spring is 20th March at 4.57pm).
In theory if we were to look at Europe from outer space we could see a green wave moving up across it in Springtime. This is caused by the opening of the buds on the trees and hedges. It begins in the south of Europe in February and it moves up across Europe as temperatures rise. It moves at the same speed as we might walk - four miles per hour, or one hundred miles a week (we'd only be walking in daylight). The exact date of this phenomenon varies year on year but there is a chemical reaction which takes place in the soil releasing a different smell.
Whichever definition of spring you subscribe to we can at least celebrate that the weekend is going to be (mainly) dry and bright during the day.