Spring 2020 Will Be the Earliest One in Minnesota Since 1896
That groundhog might have been on to something when he predicted an early spring in February.
The first day of spring in 2020 will be March 19th, with the equinox officially starting at 11:49 p.m. EDT. But what is the reason for this early spring?
It isn't global warming or climate change, or forcing us to change the clock on the stove. Instead it is simply a matter of correcting our calendar. Earth orbits the sun at a pace of 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. So instead of the year being 365 days, it is 365.2422 days. That extra change needs to be accounted for every now and again, and that is where the early springs and leap years come in.
If we just stuck with leap days it would create calendars with three extra days every 400 years. To try to fix this Pope Gregory XIII established rules to govern leap years on the Gregorian Calendar that most of the world goes by.
leap years are observed every four years, but not when the year is divisible by 100. That means the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years.
The exception are century years when the year is divisible by 400. So 2000 and 1600 were leap years. I know, it's a lot of math.
Basically to make up for these extra days and stay true to the calendar we'll see more spring equinoxes fall on March 19 until the next scheduled correction in 80 years. So enjoy the early spring, and start looking forward to green grass and sunshine.