It’s time to trade in your t-shirts for sweaters and pour yourself a great pumpkin spice latte – fall is officially here!
Today is the September Equinox, which is also known as astronomical autumn.
The sun is directly above the equator and day and night are the same length: approximately 12 hours each.
For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, today marks the beginning of autumn.
Meanwhile, residents of the southern hemisphere will greet spring today.
It’s time to trade in the T-shirts for sweaters and pour yourself a great pumpkin spice latte—fall is officially here.
There are two different dates that could be said to mark the beginning of autumn: astronomical autumn and meteorological autumn.
Astronomical autumn begins today and is defined by the Earth’s axis and its orbit 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,” NASA explained.
The only exceptions are the north and south poles, where the Sun sits approximately on either side of the horizon throughout the day.
Starting today, the Sun will gradually continue to rise later and set earlier in the northern hemisphere, shortening the days and lengthening the nights.
The opposite occurs in the southern hemisphere, where the days begin to last longer and the nights shorter.
Meanwhile, meteorological autumn is governed by annual temperature cycles.
“Weather stations are obtained by dividing the year into four periods of three months each,” explained the Meteorological Office.
“These seasons are divided to coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for weather observations and forecasts to compare seasonal and monthly statistics.”
According to the weather calendar, we have already been in autumn for a month, and the first day of autumn is always September 1; ending November 30.
While the change of season is always beautiful, Forestry England experts say the combination of a wet spring with record temperatures in June has paved the way for a “particularly spectacular autumn spectacle”.
Today is the September Equinox, which is also known as astronomical autumn. The sun is directly above the equator and day and night are the same length: approximately 12 hours each.
Met Office data shows this spring was particularly wet, with rainfall in Britain 55 per cent higher than average.
While this rain may have put many Brits off, it did wonders for the growth of the UK’s trees.
“This abundant rainfall has helped set the stage for a stunning display of colorful leaves in autumn,” Forestry England explained.
“This is because the rain provided plenty of moisture to the soil, which helps promote strong, healthy growth.”
After this wet spring, Britain enjoyed record-breaking warmth in June, with temperatures reaching a daily average of 15.8°C, 2.5°C warmer than average.
This sunny weather allowed Britain’s trees to flourish, according to Forestry England.
“The abundance of sunshine has meant a good growing season for the country’s forests, helping them accumulate a large amount of sugars that produce the stunning reds, golds and oranges of autumn as they are absorbed by the tree,” he explained.
“Rather than following the usual pattern, the weather experienced in early spring could bring about a more gradual and lovely change in leaf colors this fall, creating a beautiful mix of colors that are truly unique.”
The arrival of fall colors could also be influenced by the hot start to this month.
“If temperatures remain high, this may delay the arrival of autumn and the subsequent change in leaf colour,” Forestry England said.
The leaves change color when the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, and the green chlorophyll begins to disappear, leaving yellow and orange hues.
“So while warm weather may slightly alter the start of autumn, it may also lengthen it, offering more opportunities for people to witness nature’s splendid transformation,” Forestry England added.