spring 2020

Spring Equinox 2020:

On Friday at 4.50 a.m. the winter ends and the astronomical spring begins. Since the sun is perpendicular to the equator, it takes twelve hours each day and night.

This will make the days in the northern hemisphere longer, as SRF Meteo announced on Thursday. Theoretically, on Friday all over the world, there are 12 hours between sunrise and sunset.

However, the actual duration depends very much on the topography. Mountains, houses or trees can shorten the day.

On the other hand, if the horizon is completely flat, the day at the beginning of spring has been longer than twelve hours.

The meteorologists at radio and television SRF explain this on the one hand with perception. Visually, the sun is not a point but a disk.

On the other hand, the atmosphere deflects the sun's rays towards the earth's surface.

This ensures that in Zurich, for example, 12 hours 10 minutes and 59 seconds elapse between theoretical sunrise and sunset.

The closer a location is to the equator, the smaller the deviation. The effect is greater the closer to the poles.

Spring 2020 - Midnight sun at the poles:

The midnight sun can be seen at both the south and north poles these days. Only half the sun is visible at both poles.

The midnight sun shines from Friday at the North Pole for six months to just beyond the astronomical beginning of autumn.

In contrast, the polar night descends over the South Pole for almost half a year. Accordingly, the sun does not shine there until the beginning of autumn.

The astronomical spring lasts exactly three months. It ends on Saturday, June 20, late at 11:43 p.m.

Then the sun is at the highest northern point of its orbit, namely at 23 degrees 26 minutes and 04 seconds north. June 20 is the longest day in the entire northern hemisphere.

It takes around 16 hours around Zurich, and around 15 hours and 45 minutes in Chiasso.
The last winter day was spring-like and sunny on Thursday. In the morning the temperatures were above ten degrees Celsius, according to the weather map of the state weather service Meteoswiss.

The days before were mild and sunny too. The thermometer climbed to over 16 degrees in the lowlands on the north side of the Alps on Wednesday and scratched the 20 degrees mark locally.

Spring 2020 - Warmest winter since the start of the measurement:

The winter, which ended early on Friday, was the mildest in Switzerland since the start of the measurement in 1864. However, for the weather experts, the winter ends at the end of February.

On the north side of the Alps, the average temperature was around 3.5 to 4 degrees above the reference from 1961 to 1990. In the south, it was around 3 degrees warmer than usual.

The nationwide average winter temperature from December to February was around 0.7 degrees according to Meteo Switzerland.

The current winter exceeded its mild predecessors in 1989/90, 2006/07 and 2015/16. In Delsberg JU, for example, the thermometer climbed to 21.2 degrees in summer for a day in mid-February and broke the monthly temperature record.

Numerous westerly wind conditions were responsible for the winter warmth, blowing mild air from the Atlantic into the Alpine region.

Warm air also came from the edges of high-pressure areas into the Alpine region.
According to the new climate scenarios in Meteoswiss, the warming observed in the winters of the past decades will continue in the future. According to forecasts, the average winter temperature could rise by 3.5 degrees by 2050.

The months from December 2019 to February were also the warmest in Europe since the start of the measurement.

The temperature was 3.4 degrees above the average measured temperature from 1981 to 2010 and 1.4 degrees above the hottest winter 2015/16. Worldwide, the winter was over a degree warmer than usual.


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