sun

The quick return of the sun

It may not feel like it, but spring is officially here, and with that, the days continue to get longer. I’d always assumed that we either gain or lose a couple minutes of daylight each day in a more or less constant rate throughout the year. But, it seems that particularly during March, the amount of daylight hours increases at a much faster rate than, say, January. It turns out it’s not just wishful thinking.

Let’s look at the extremes…

We’ll pick Syracuse, New York as our example. During the two-week period around the winter solstice in December when the days are at their shortest, the difference between the longest and shortest day in that 14-day period is two minutes. Fast forward to the two-week period around the spring equinox in March and the difference is 45 minutes. In fact, in December there’s a seven-day stretch when the length of each day doesn’t change at all!

So, if it seems like the dark days near the end of the year seem to drag on while spring arrives with a bang, you’re not crazy… it’s happening. And, the swing in differences is larger the farther you are away from the equator.

Check out the stats for your town at: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Dur_OneYear.php