Spring has sprung, or has it?

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Jeremy Johnson Photography) (Source: Jeremy Johnson Photography)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

I unknowingly caused some controversy earlier this week when I said that spring had arrived. I said this on the air during "Good Morning Arizona" and then doubled down on the drama by sending out the daily forecast notification to those who have our azfamily app by starting off with "Happy first day of spring!" 

Once that notification went out, the phones started ringing in the newsroom. "Tell April it's not spring yet!" "April is wrong! Spring starts in a few weeks!" 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Weather Blog]

I got a few posts on my Facebook page from viewers saying the same. So what gives?

There are two ways to determine the start and finish of spring. There is astronomical spring and meteorological spring. 

Astronomical spring starts around March 21 every year. It's the date of the vernal equinox when the sun is directly over the equator. 

Astronomical seasons, marked by the two equinoxes and solstices, are based on the earth's tilt and position in its rotation around the sun. 

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see NOAA's picture of the astronomical seasons]

According to this system, spring ends and summer starts in late June with the summer solstice, followed by the start of fall with the autumnal equinox in late September. 

I like to joke that the autumnal equinox is my favorite holiday. I mean, what Arizonan doesn't get excited about the end of summer and the promise of less brutal weather in the desert? One of our GMAZ viewers even wrote a song about my love of the autumnal equinox. 

Click here to check out the song

Meteorological seasons follow the calendar year and better reflects the temperature and weather changes we see during these times of the year. 

Meteorological spring is March, April and May. In some parts of the country, like tornado alley, this time of year means a transition to severe weather season. 

Here in Arizona, it's a transition from our mild winter weather to warmer temperatures and sometimes a glimpse of that early-summer heat. 

The average high temperature in the Valley goes from the 60s in February to the 70s in March. In April, the average high temperature in the Valley is in the 80s and the 90s are typical for May. 

And let's just not talk about what comes after that. 

Instead, get out and enjoy this perfect springtime weather in Arizona while it lasts!

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see picture of spring wildflowers from Jeremy Johnson Photography]

[azfamily.com Weather Tools: Interactive radar | 7-day forecast | Rain totals | Weather cameras]

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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