Autumnal Equinox Marks the Official Kickoff of Fall in New England

The Autumnal Equinox is a moment in time -- this year, 9:04 p.m. on Thursday


It’s that time of year again…cozy fall sweaters, changing leaves, and all things pumpkin spice.  We’ve slowly been making the transition to fall and on Thursday it will become official.  

The Autumnal Equinox marks the sun crossing above the Earth’s equator from north to south. We actually have two equinoxes every year, one in September and another in March (vernal equinox), indicating the change from summer to fall and winter to spring respectively.

You may hear some people say…well, the first FULL day of fall is Friday.  And that’s because the Autumnal Equinox is a moment in time -- 9:04 p.m. on Thursday to be exact.  The name equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).  Per EarthSky.org, the equinox is “when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun. Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays about equally around equinox time. The sun is overhead at noon as seen from the equator. Night and day are approximately equal.”

For me, fall began back on September 1 though. No really.  Meteorologists and climatologists split the year into four “meteorological seasons,” each of which lasts for three full months and begins on the first day of the month: September 1 for autumn; December 1 for winter; March 1 for spring, and June 1 for summer.

No matter how you want to define it, the air is certainly changing here in New England and our foliage is too.  That’s not to say we won’t have some warmer days mixed in going forward.  But we’ve started to see those chilly mornings and cooler afternoon temperatures take hold.  Autumn is almost here, enjoy!

Fall foliage 2019
Stephen MacArthur
Crawford Notch, NH - Oct 12, 2019
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