Spring 2024

When the sun is directly above the equator, spring begins for us in The Netherlands. Astronomical spring usually begins on March 20 in the Northern Hemisphere. Meteorological spring starts on March 1.

Day length
Day and night last the same length all over the world on the first day of spring. In our country, the day when spring begins lasts about 10 minutes longer than the night. These differences are due to the times of rising and setting of the sun. These times refer to the upper edge of the sun. Moreover, the sun is briefly visible due to refraction of rays in the atmosphere, while in reality it has already set.

Increasing temperature
If the air temperature responded directly and only to the sun, June 21 (the longest day) should be the warmest. That day would have to fall in the middle of summer. In reality, the temperature rises more slowly. This is due to the influence of oceans and seas. The warming of seawater by the sun is slower than the warming of land. Some of the heat is immediately returned to the air. Another part of the heat ends up in deeper layers of the earth and ocean. Those deeper layers in the ocean slowly release their stored heat into the air.

Local differences in temperature
On the coast the warmer season starts later than inland. This is due to the influence of the still cold water of the North Sea and the predominant supply of air from the sea. If the seasonal division were to depend only on the temperature, it would appear that spring in the province of South Limburg starts on average on March 9 and on the island of Terschelling only on March 23.

Climatic Spring
According to the climatic classification, spring started on March 1 and lasts until May 31. This way, seasons can be better compared with each other.

Image
Just beautiful outside!

With thanks to our Royal Meteorological Institute, the  KNMI, Knowledge and Data Center