This is what we've all been taught as soon as we were old enough to understand the seasons. Never mind that it doesn't always occur on the same calendar date; it's usually within a couple of days of each other no matter which year we're talking about.
Some years (most years, if we're honest), that date rolls around on the calendar and we're frustrated because even though it's technically spring, it many times doesn't feel much like it. There's often snow still on the ground and the temperatures are anything but springlike.
|The red-winged blackbird is a true harbinger of spring|
for us here in Ohio.
So what gives?
It's called meteorologic spring and it began on March 1st. It's not based on the earth's tilt and only a little bit on the calendar for convenience's sake, though it is three months long, just like astronomical spring. Average temperature is the biggest determining factor and it also makes it easier to compare seasonal forecasts and trends for people who depend on the weather for their business or pleasure, such as agriculture (that's us!), travel and tourism, etc.
Though it seems like spring didn't come a bit early this year, there were signs in nature that it was well on its way before it felt like it got here. And I like the idea of celebrating all the goodness that is spring as early as possible.