Though pumpkin spice lattes made their annual debut when it was still acceptable to be wearing white pants, today (Sept. 22) officially marks the first day of fall, known as the autumnal equinox, the fall equinox or even the September equinox. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the word equinox comes from the Latin aequus, meaning “equal” and nox, meaning “night.”
Today, the earth’s equator passes through the sun, and for those in the Central Time zone, 8:54 p.m. will be the exact time. The Northern Hemisphere (where we are) is facing away from the sun, and the Southern Hemisphere is facing the sun. This is why the two hemispheres are basically on opposite seasons.
Moving into fall, the most notable change is the shortened daylight hours. Currently, Owensboro residents have 12 hours of daylight from sunrise to sunset, but this diminishes daily with winter will bring shorter days. The shortest day of 2018 will be Dec. 21, and is known as the winter solstice.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this was the fourth-hottest summer on record in the United States, and the month of June was the fifth-warmest on record for the entire world, too.
Experts say summer weather patterns do not correlate to winter patterns; however because of the El Nino effect, we may experience warmer-than-normal temperatures this fall, according to Dr. Todd Crawford, a senior meteorological scientist at The Weather Company.
The first day — and weekend — of fall we are experiencing will not help the fall leaves as they need clear days, cooler nights and less sunlight to create the best fall foliage. Rain affects this, so let’s hope the rain passes quickly so Owensboro can experience some beautiful fall foliage.