Autumn has finally arrived! September Equinox is TODAY

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It’s finally time to pack your summer shorts, dust off your sweaters and get out the Pumpkin Spice Lattes – fall is officially here!

Today is the September equinox, the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

“September equinox is a time when Earthlings are welcome into a new season,” explains NASA.

“For those in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the onset of milder weather and say hello to early sunsets and late sunrises.”

Today is the September Equinox, the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere

Today is the September Equinox, the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere

During an equinox, the sun shines directly over the equator, resulting in nearly equal amounts of day and night around the world

During an equinox, the sun shines directly over the equator, resulting in nearly equal amounts of day and night around the world

During an equinox, the sun shines directly over the equator, resulting in nearly equal amounts of day and night around the world

What is Meteorological Autumn?

Meteorological seasons are derived by dividing the year into four periods of three months each.

These seasons are split to coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for meteorological observations and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics.

According to the meteorological calendar, the first day of autumn is always September 1; ends on November 30.

The seasons are defined as spring (March, April, May), summer (June, July, August), autumn (September, October, November) and winter (December, January, February).

Source: Met Office

There are two separate dates that can be used to mark the beginning of fall in calendars – Astronomical Fall and Meteorological Fall.

The meteorological fall is led by annual temperature cycles.

“Meteorological seasons are derived by dividing the year into four periods of three months each,” explains the Met Office.

“These seasons are split to coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for meteorological observations and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics.

‘According to the meteorological calendar, the first day of autumn is always September 1; ends on November 30.

“The seasons are defined as spring (March, April, May), summer (June, July, August), autumn (September, October, November) and winter (December, January, February).”

Meanwhile, astronomical autumn — much like today’s equinox — is determined by Earth’s journey around the sun.

During an equinox, the sun shines directly over the equator, resulting in nearly equal amounts of day and night around the world.

Starting today, however, the sun in the Northern Hemisphere will gradually rise later and set earlier.

The Earth's seasons are caused by our planet's tilted axis, which always points in the same direction.  As the Earth revolves around the sun, the angle of sunlight received by the northern and southern hemispheres is different

The Earth's seasons are caused by our planet's tilted axis, which always points in the same direction.  As the Earth revolves around the sun, the angle of sunlight received by the northern and southern hemispheres is different

The Earth’s seasons are caused by our planet’s tilted axis, which always points in the same direction. As the Earth revolves around the sun, the angle of sunlight received by the northern and southern hemispheres is different

When are the next autumn equinoxes?
Year Autumn begins Autumn ends
2022 Friday September 23 wednesday 21 december
2023 Saturday September 23 Friday December 22
2024 Sunday September 22 Saturday December 21
2025 Monday September 22 Sunday 21 December

Unfortunately, this means that the days will be shorter and nightfall will be longer.

The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere, where the days will become longer and the evenings shorter.

If you’re in the UK, maybe it’s time to get out the jumpers and your umbrella.

“Autumn is normally associated with dropping temperatures and nightfall as winter approaches,” advises the Met Office.

“In the UK, autumn can often bring unsettled weather and towards the latter part of the season, stormy conditions can often develop with strong storms due to Atlantic depressions sweeping across the UK.”

If you’re in the UK, maybe it’s time to get out the jumpers and your umbrella. “Autumn is normally associated with dropping temperatures and the nights that fall as winter approaches,” advises the Met Office

The Earth’s seasons are caused by our planet’s tilted axis, which always points in the same direction.

As the Earth revolves around the sun, the angle of sunlight received by the northern and southern hemispheres is different.

“During the June solstice (summer) in the Northern Hemisphere, sunlight is more direct, so it heats the ground more efficiently,” explains Mitzi Adams, an assistant manager in Marshall’s Division of Heliophysics and Planetary Sciences.

‘In the southern hemisphere, the sunlight is less direct (winter), so that the ground warms up less quickly.’

This year, autumn ends and astronomical winter begins on December 21, 2022.

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