Today is the last day of winter 2017-2018, but many places in the world still show majestic blankets of snow. And that is because the traditional start of spring is governed primarily by hours of daylight, not the weather. And the traditional start of spring is, essentially, Groundhog Day, even back in history before that furry prognosticator’s tradition was coined.
Although it is hard to feel like spring has begun in some sub-zero temperatures places, the length of day drives a change in weather, and together both drive plants to come out of dormancy.
In southern California From January 1 to January 31 the sun rose a little earlier each day, rising about 8 minutes earlier at the end of the month than at the beginning. From February 1 to February 28, the sun rose about 37 minutes earlier. In March, from start of month to end, the sun will rise an extra 40 minutes earlier.
March 20, the Mid-Spring Equinox, marks the point at which the lengthening days have finally caught up with the waning darkness, and daylight and nighttime are of equal length.
The daffodil (narcissus bublocodum) is the traditional flower of hope and spring as it drives up through the snow in response to lengthening days of February and March.