When does spring start in the UK and what is the spring equinox?

14 February 2024, 09:53

People play in daffodil field while lambs lie down
Spring will begin in March in the UK this 2024 [stock image]. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Hope Wilson

When is the first day of spring 2024? Brighter evenings, flowers blooming and warmer weather - here's the exact date we'll welcome a new season in the UK.

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With the cold weather in full force, the winter in the UK this time around has been fairly chilly and rainy, with the odd stream of sunshine making an appearance.

So far 2024 has seen storms and snow bombs aplenty, leaving many of us wondering when we'll start to see warm temperatures and sunny days once again. So when exactly does spring start in the UK?

As the flower-blooming season of spring slowly creeps towards us, we can look forward to Easter holidays, lighter evenings and the abundance of cute animals being born.

When is the first day of spring in the UK and what the spring equinox? Here's what we know about the new season of 2024.

Girl smells flowers
Spring is the season for daffodils and new blooming flowers [stock image]. Picture: Alamy

When is the first day of spring in the UK?

According to The Met Office, spring begins either on the 1st of March or 20th March, depending on which calendar you choose to follow.

The meteorological spring and astronomical spring both state that spring starts on different dates.

When is the meteorological spring start date?

According to the meteorological calendar, spring will start on the 1st of March and end on the 31st of May when the UK will officially enjoy summer.

This is the same every year as it is due to the calendar being split into four seasons, each lasting three months each.

Sheep grazing on grass in spring
Spring brings warmer weather and lambing season in the UK. Picture: Alamy

When is the astronomical spring start date?

The astronomical spring start date is the 20th of March, according to the position of Earth's orbit in relation to the Sun.

This changes yearly with The Met Office explaining: "This is due to the 23.5 degrees of tilt of the Earth's rotational axis concerning its orbit around the Sun. Since the seasons vary in length, the start date of a new season can fall on different days each year."

What is the spring equinox?

The spring equinox marks the first day of spring and when the day is longer than the night. Hello daylight saving hours in the UK.

The Met Office state: "The Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurs twice a year around 20 March (the spring equinox) and around 22 September (the autumn equinox).

"They occur between the summer and winter solstices marking the point the Sun crosses the equator's path and becomes positioned exactly above the equator between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere."