#Autumn #equinox #day #fall #arriving
Ready to search for the perfect pumpkin and apple cider doughnut as the September air turns cooler and the leaves turn colorful? The official start of the fall season of 2022 is almost here.
This year, autumn begins at 9:04 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the United States and the rest of the northern hemisphere, because that’s the date the autumn equinox arrives as our weather transitions from summer to fall. (On the southern side of our planet, the seasons are changing from winter to spring.)
What is the autumn equinox?
The autumn equinox — also known as the autumnal equinox, the fall equinox or the September equinox — occurs when the sun moves directly over the Earth’s equator, bringing virtually the same amount of daylight and darkness on that day.
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Essentially, the Earth’s tilt and the sun’s position are responsible for the season that’s associated with scarecrows, pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving and colorful foliage. It also results in shorter days and cooler temperatures.
The word equinox was derived from two Latin words — “aequus” (the Latin prefix for “equal”) and “nox” (the Latin word for “night”). The equal refers to the nearly equal amount of daylight minutes and darkness minutes on this day — about 12 hours of each.
Why some people say fall started Sept. 1
For most people, Sept. 22 is the first official day of the fall season — and some years the date lands on Sept. 23. However, weather forecasters consider Sept. 1 the start of autumn, based on annual temperature cycles.
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: Sept. 1 for autumn; Dec. 1 for winter; March 1 for spring, and June 1 for summer.
When does winter start?
The meteorological winter season of 2022 will start on Thursday, Dec. 1, and run through the end of February 2023. The astronomical winter season will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 21, and end on Monday, March 20, 2023.
Note: Parts of this article were originally published in September 2019 and September 2020, and the dates and times have been updated for 2022.
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Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@versuszone.com.
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