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With the temperature dropping, it certainly seems as though autumn is on the way and summer is packing its bags. Soon the shops will be getting ready for Halloween, and coffee outlets will once again stock our favourite pumpkin-spiced treats. Read on to find out when autumn begins this year.
When does Autumn start?
The start date for autumn differs depending on which calendar you choose to go by.
For those hoping to extend summer for as long as possible, you may wish to mark the start of autumn via the astronomical calendar.
But for those desperate to don their wooly hats, many also choose to mark the beginning of Autumn as September starts with the meteorological calendar.
When does Autumn start on the astronomical calendar?
Astronomical autumn is decided by the Earth’s axis and orbit around the Sun.
At some point, the Sun passes directly over the Earth’s equator as it crosses south between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
At this time daytime will last nearly as long as nighttime, and this date is known as the Autumnal Equinox.
The word equinox derives from the Latin ‘equi’, meaning equal, and ‘nox’ which means night.
The Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurs twice a year, once for Autumn and at another time in March, known as the Spring Equinox.
After the Spring Equinox, Spring begins and the days become longer than the nights.
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However, after the Autumn Equinox the nights become longer than the days.
Based on the astronomical calendar, Autumn starts this year on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.
Autumn will end on Monday, December 21, 2020 at the time of the Winter Solstice.
In 2021 Autumn is expected to start on Wednesday, September 22.
When does Autumn start on the meteorological calendar?
The meteorological calendar simply splits the seasons into four periods of three months.
Under this principle every year the seasons start on the same date, and this system is based on the Gregorian calendar.
By this logic, Autumn will begin in 2020 on the same date it does every year – September 1.
Autumn ends on November 30, making way for Winter on December 1.
Spring starts on March 1, and ends on May 30, before Summer begins on June 1.
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