Astronomically, it IS an early spring!!
So I read this article and I had to share it with you – I think it’s very good :)
Article: Spring Arrives With Equinox Tuesday, Earliest in Over a Century
by Joe Rao, SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist
As an introduction, here in Nashville, we’ve been experiencing a really mild spring – personally, I’m pretty happy about it because I go observing with the lab students a lot and it’s been so nice to not have to bundle up ;) Thus we’ve been having an early spring meteorologically.
But let’s think about what the start of spring means ASTRONOMICALLY. The start of spring is technically the date of the vernal equinox which technically is when the Sun’s position in the sky goes from being in the southern celestial hemisphere to being in the northern celestial hemisphere. You can see this with Stellarium!! Plus you can see how the actual location of the equinox in the sky (comparing it to the constellations) changes over time – this is called the precession of the equinoxes and it is why we are entering the Age of Aquarius!
Here’s a lovely graph from Wolfram Alpha that shows the date of the vernal (spring) equinox for certain time periods (see axes ;) ):
Note that we’re bottoming out for our cycle in the left graph (stupid axes if you ask me so it is kinda hard to see). The short-period cyclic nature on the left shows the “resetting” every leap year and then the big jumps on the right plot show the effect of not having a leap year during century years (i.e., 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200) unless those years are divisible by 400 (i.e., 2000). To learn more about this (and to see a better graph), go to Wikipedia :) Dudes, on Wikipedia, I learned about the Iranian calendar which has 8 leap days in every 33 year time period – it’s more accurate :)
Anyway, the aforementioned article is a good article – Dr. G approved! ;)