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Get Ready For The Autumnal Equinox!

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Get Ready For The Autumnal Equinox!

In mid-September each year, we greet the fall season with the arrival of the Autumnal Equinox. This is the moment when the Sun crosses the Equator, and those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere begin to see more darkness than daylight. Regardless of whether it has been chilly for weeks or there are still balmy summer-like temperatures, this day is the official start of autumn.

So what does that mean? Essentially, our hours of daylight — the period of time each day between sunrise and sunset — have been growing slightly shorter each day since the Summer Solstice in June, which is the longest day of the year (at least in terms of light). Even after three months of shortening days, though, we still see more light than darkness over the course of a day.

The Autumnal Equinox marks the turning point, when darkness begins to win out over daylight. For the next three months, our hours of daylight will continue to grow shorter. At this equinox, day and night are approximately equal in length. The name ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin word aequus, meaning equal, and nox, meaning night.  An equinox occurs twice a year (Autumnal and Vernal).

Everywhere you look, you can see the visible changes as nature prepares for winter: birds are flying south, temperatures are getting cooler, leaves are changing colors, and animals’ coats are thickening, to name a few.

(Continued Below)

In December, we will experience the Winter Solstice, which will mark the shortest day of the year in terms of hours of daylight.

After the Winter Solstice, the days will begin to grow longer again. It will take another three months, until the Vernal Equinox (also called the Spring Equinox) for the periods of daylight and darkness to reach equilibrium once again.

From the Vernal Equinox, the days will continue to grow longer, until we reach the Summer Solstice again, and the whole cycle begins anew!

Here are the official dates for each of the seasons.

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13 comments

1 Music Monday | Louis Armstrong | undefined by design { 09.22.14 at 3:07 am }

[…] Happy Monday, everyone! And welcome Autumn! […]

2 linda carreiro { 09.21.14 at 7:20 am }

I so enjoy your articles! My birthday is 9-22, and time of day is 8:00 pm. some years i am virgo and others, im a libra! Maybe that’s why I love September so much <3

3 Brenda Lingle { 09.20.14 at 8:49 pm }

I dont have question.I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this article and many others from Farmers Almanac.

4 NanB { 09.20.14 at 7:45 pm }

I so look forward to cooler weather and all the fun of the holidays! I even love the shorter days – welcome autumn!

5 Toni { 09.20.14 at 6:53 pm }

Thank you for this article. The shortening of the days is depressing to me and I dislike the cold, but I look forward to changing what I wear. Warmth when it’s cold. Snuggling and not being all sweaty lol. Always a silver lining

6 Jose A. { 09.19.14 at 7:56 pm }

Hello fall. I am going to say that I am sad to say goodbye to the summer. Before I get into the excitement for fall, let me say something for the end of summer. Summer is so full of joy. I can’t get enough of the summer. Lol. There’s not much I dislike regarding the summer. There is no gloom in the summer. The summer is nice. I would trade a huge blizzard for a typical summer day. Summer was so wonderful. I already miss it a little. I dread winter. I only like the holidays at the end and beginning of the year. I love almost all weather, too. What’s not to love about the summer? Sunshine, beach, swimming, carefree, traveling, water, cold stuff, weather, love, beauty, nature, happiness, visiting, hiking, camping, bugs that don’t annoy, palm trees, green trees. I can’t say enough! I can’t wait until summer 2015. Fall is somewhat gloomy, but winter is even gloomier. But autumn is like an extended summer! With music and movie hits in the summer and fall, I am also happy for fall. Traveling during autumn can be fun too. The nice leaf colors. This also means goodbye to the summer though. That makes me sad. I enjoy the first 12 days of the year and June to December. Those are my favorite times of the year. Fall holidays are exciting. Then comes the dreadful winter. I don’t care what anyone says about the weather; unless it’s too severe I don’t complain about it. I am enjoying the weather as much as possible. There’s quite a bit I like about fall and not a lot about the winter. I feel like I can’t get enough of the summer and in contrast am overdosed about the winter. Fall brings variety of activities and things. I love variety in some cases. I love school so fall makes me happy for that reason too. Nine months will fly by though and I will welcome summer with joy. I am ready for fall too though.

7 TamaRA { 09.18.14 at 11:46 am }

This article is enlightening, Thanks.

8 rene { 09.18.14 at 10:07 am }

love your subjects.

9 Marjorie { 09.17.14 at 4:59 pm }

I live in West Central Florida, south of Crystal River and I have noticed the mornings are definitely cooler of late. I wonder if we will have a cooler winter this year.

10 Marjorie French { 09.17.14 at 4:57 pm }

I live a little south of the Crystal River, FL area in Pasco County and I have noticed the mornings are much cooler of late. This seems like it is early in the season for this. I wonder if it means a cooler winter is in store.

11 tynypups { 09.17.14 at 11:31 am }

Well, here we are again. I live in Colorado where the seasons change ,it seems, with a blinking of an eye. It is beautiful ,nature, with the aspen and other trees changing in color, the scrub oak turning blaze red and orange, a slight chill in the air. Only here whenever we go thru the equinox and solstice times, we usually get hammered by strong and sever weather conditions,blizzards, tornados etc. This year ,I believe, is going to be one for the record books with strong heavy snow, ice and so on. Just be ready and save yourself the hassle of letting urself get stressed out and enjoy the wonder of it all.

12 deallenjr { 09.17.14 at 9:30 am }

I live in the Crystal River Florida area and I am seeing our “blackjack” oak leaves start to become less green and are moving towards brown. Some are even falling. This seems really early for this to happen in central Florida as far back as I can remember.

13 Diana Daugherty { 09.17.14 at 9:30 am }

I am so glad I subscribed to the Farmers Almanac news letters. Really enjoy reading the updates.
Thank you very much,FarmersAlmanac.

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