WEST MICHIGAN — After an extended Arctic blast, polar vortex, ice storm, several bouts of significant snow, flooding, and severe weather last week, West Michigan is certainly ready for spring…which officially arrives Wednesday at 5:58 P.M. This is the precise time when the sun is directly overhead of the equator. It’s also known as the spring/vernal equinox meaning equal days/equal nights…about 12 hours of each. In fact, we continue to gain daylight at the rate of about three minutes each day.
Think back in elementary school in the old science class where we learned the earth sits at a 23.5 degree tilt on its axis. That tilt is responsible for our seasons. As the earth tilts back toward the sun and we get more direct rays, the sun appears higher in the sky and temperatures warm. We don’t warm drastically (usually) in March/April/May due to a seasonal temperature lag…or in other words, our Northern Hemisphere has just come through winter and the continent is still cold, so it takes a few months to peak out in temperatures. It’s for this reason that our summertime high temperatures are generally not reached until July and August.
Our days will continue to lengthen until June 21, then they slowly get shorter following the summer solstice. But we’ve got time, so enjoy! Sunshine and warmer temperatures are on the way this weekend. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.