The first day of spring will is almost here, and Swan Hills has certainly been seeing some warm weather lately. This month, there have been very few days with daytime temperatures below zero, and our snow is rapidly disappearing.
While the warmer weather does make for a pleasant transition into spring, it also throws a large wrench into the works for the snowmobilers in town. And for the out-of-town snowmobile enthusiasts that have been flocking to Swan Hills on the weekends lately. The sunny weather and relatively early snowmelt also have more worrying implications now that we are officially in wildfire season. Hopefully, we will still get another good blanket of snow that sticks around for a while before summer arrives, both for our snowmobilers and some added wildfire protection.
Traditionally, the first day of spring is celebrated on March 21, but astronomically, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Saturday, March 20, this year. More precisely, the first day of spring will begin at 3:37 AM MDT on Saturday, March 20, this year. The astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere coincides with the spring equinox (also known as the March equinox or vernal equinox).
The winter solstice on December 21 marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, with the days getting progressively longer after this event. Even with the increasing amount of daylight as the year progresses towards spring, our nights are still longer than our days. The spring equinox marks the point in time that the sun is shining on the equator, producing the effect of relatively equal day and night. As time moves past this point, we begin to experience more daylight than nighttime.
Whether you choose to mark the event traditionally or astronomically, have a happy first day of spring.