Have you ever heard the poem [in Just-] Spring by E. E. Cummings? It opens with:
spring         when the world is mud-
Isn't that a great description of what the world is like in springtime? Later in the poem, Cummings also says that the world is "puddle-wonderful" in the spring.
There's a lot of mud and lots of puddles around in the spring because of the weather. Here are a few fun facts about spring and spring weather that you can observe for yourself just by paying attention to the world around you.
1. Spring Doesn't Happen at the Same Time for Everyone
You probably already know that the Earth rotates on its axis, an imaginary pole that goes right through the middle of the planet. That rotation is why we have day and night — when one half of the planet is facing the sun, it's day. When it’s turned away from the sun, it's night. But the axis also helps explain why we have seasons and why the seasons are opposite in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Because the Earth is tilted on its axis, different parts of the planet get more direct sunlight — with warmer, longer days and stronger sunshine — than others at different times of the year. The Northern Hemisphere gets spring beginning in March because the northern half of the Earth is tilting toward the sun. The Southern Hemisphere has spring in August, when the southern half of the planet is tilted toward the sun.
Learn More: Check out this video about why seasons are different in the North and South to learn more.
2. It Doesn't Always Rain More in April, but It Rains More Often
You've probably heard the saying "April showers bring May flowers." Most people believe that April is the rainiest month of the year, partly because we all know that saying. It's actually not completely true. According to scientists, April is not usually the wettest month of the year in most of the U.S., at least if you're measuring the amount of rain that falls during the month. That would be June. So why do we think it is? Scientists say it's because it usually rains more often in most areas during April than during any other month of the year.
Try It Yourself
Keep a weather journal (download our weather journal pages for free) for the spring months, noting whether it rained each day. Use a rain gauge to measure how much it rained and add that to your journal. Use your data to figure out the rainiest month in your backyard.
3. When Does Spring Start?
The first day of spring doesn't always happen on the same day each year. That's because spring begins on the date between winter and summer when the day and the night are almost the same length. That day is called the spring equinox, and it happens between March 19 and March 21 each year.
Measure It Yourself With an AcuRite Atlas™
Want to see the spring arriving? You can do that with an AcuRite Atlas. The data it collects includes light intensity measurements, hours of daylight, and UV index. You can easily track the days getting longer in My AcuRite! Each day, record the sunset and sunrise times and figure out how many hours of daylight there were. Use your data to create a graph. When you connect your data dots, you'll be able to see the curve and pinpoint the day that astronomical spring arrived in your hemisphere.
4. Meteorologists Measure Spring Differently
Not everyone marks the beginning of spring by the spring equinox. Meteorologists measure the seasons differently. They divide the year into four equal seasons that each start on the first day of every third month. For meteorologists, spring begins on March 1 in the Northern Hemisphere and lasts until May 31, no matter when the equinox happens.
5. Thunderstorms Are More Likely in Spring
While thunderstorms can happen at any time of the year, they are more likely to happen in the spring than during other seasons. One reason for this is that spring has the right conditions for thunderstorms to develop — warm, moist air and a lot of moving air currents.
Predict a Thunderstorm
You can use data from a home weather station to try to predict thunderstorms yourself. Track pressure trends to see if pressure is increasing or decreasing to imply that a low pressure system may be approaching and eventful weather is on the horizon. Use the weather journal sheets to record your findings and track your data — and don't forget to share them with us on social media. Just post them to your social media, mention us (@AcuRite), and tag them with #JrWeatherWatcher.
6. Spring Is the Muddiest Season of the Year
There are some very good reasons that mud is one of the earliest signs of spring. As the days get warmer, all the snow and ice that has been frozen in and on the ground starts to melt. As the snow melts, it mixes with the dirt and you get mud.
Can you guess where and when mud will happen in your backyard? All it takes is some careful observation as spring begins. Think about the ingredients for mud — warm temperatures, dirt, and water. Watch where the sun shines in your yard and keep track of the temperature. Is it warmer in the sun? How much warmer? Use the data you collect to guess which parts of your yard will get mud-luscious first.
7. Smells Are Stronger in the Spring
Have you noticed that springtime has a different smell than winter? There are so many scents in the air — new flowers, cut grass, and the rich smell of earth, just to name a few. But did you know that the weather helps you smell things more strongly? In the spring, there's more moisture in the atmosphere. The extra moisture not only helps keep scents in the air longer, but it also makes it easier for you to smell them.
8. Birds and Butterflies Pay Attention to the Weather, Too
The return of migrating birds and butterflies are among the earliest signs of spring, but did you know that weather affects their migration? Scientists have started noticing that some migrating animals are heading north earlier now than they did 20 years ago. When did you first spot butterflies and birds coming back to your neighborhood? There are projects around the world where people just like you watch for birds, butterflies, and other migrating creatures and report what they see. They help scientists track what's happening and learn more about how weather affects the animals and plants who share our world. If you're interested, there are many ways to get involved here.
Spring is an amazing time of year. Snow is melting, days get warmer and longer, plants start to grow, and animals wake up or return from their winter vacations. All of it is connected to weather in different ways. Keeping track of weather data is one way to understand what's happening in the world around us.