When does spring begin and is it more likely to snow at Easter than Christmas? Things you probably didn't know about the new season
Spring has sprung - today marks the first day of spring in 2019. Though for weather experts, we are already almost three weeks in.
By Ross Robertson
Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 1:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 1:08 pm
Here we look at some myths and facts around spring, a season of crazy weather, mad hares and moveable feasts.
The astronomical calendar has the first day of spring as March 20. For meteorologists spring starts on March 1. The phenological method records dates of reoccurring natural phenomena such as flowering plants.
The astronomical calendar determines the seasons according to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth's rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun.
Meteorologists divide the year into four seasons of three full calendar months each, which makes it easier for weather experts to observe, forecast and compare seasonal and monthly statistics.
The first day of astronomical spring (March 20 this year) is the vernal equinox, which has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
He drank tea with the Mad Hatter, but is the saying mad as a March hare fair? It is mating time for hares, making them more energetic. Male and female hares are also known to box when the males become too persistent.
Sense of smell can be more acute in spring as there is usually more moisture in the air.
That depends! Snow or sleet falls on average 3.9 days in December, compared to 4.2 days in March. But because Easter is a moveable feast, it can also take place in April - which has only 2.3 days of snow or sleet fall.