The first day of autumn 2020 is almost here.
The arrival of autumn means cooler, shorter days, the annual burst of color from fall foliage, and the inevitable clock change that comes with the end of summer time.
Autumn 2020 in the northern hemisphere begins on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, with the autumnal equinox.
What is the autumnal equinox?
The Tuesday equinox occurs at 9:30 a.m.East when the sun crosses the equator and heads south. It is one of two that take place on the first days of spring and autumn each year.
On the equinoxes, the hours of daylight and darkness are almost (but not exactly) the same. They are the midpoints between the solstice times, which take place on the first winter and summer days ̵
The days are getting shorter and shorter until the winter solstice 2020 on December 21, which is also the first day of winter.
Fall foliage 2020
Fall foliage in Pennsylvania and New Jersey was expected to peak in late October and, according to various forecasts, begin in the north and at higher elevations.
At Poconos, fall colors in the northernmost counties bordering New York are expected to peak around October 16, with the southernmost areas in Counties Carbon and Monroe around October 24, according to poconomountains.com, which has live cameras Get their best foliage before going on a day trip to check foliage. For New Jersey, the njhiking.com website states that the average peak color will be between October 19-29.
Foliage forecasts may change over the next few weeks depending on conditions. AccuWeather’s fall forecast says the expected prolonged warmth in the northeast will delay peak color by about two weeks from normal.
But why do leaves change color? Chlorophyll is a green pigment in most leaves that helps the tree grow. But when the days get shorter, the veins in the tree close and the chlorophyll is no longer replenished. Its green color fades and other pigments become visible.
When does summer time end in 2020?
The annual clock change happens on Sunday, November 1st, at 2 a.m., when daylight saving time ends and we drop an hour back.
Summer time is often – and wrongly – attributed to farmers. But it really has been established to save energy with an extra hour of sunlight on long summer evenings, although its current effectiveness is controversial. It was continued with the support of business groups who say more daylight after work promotes trade.
Daylight saving time lasts from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. That means that most of the United States spends about two-thirds of the year in summer time, unlike Standard Time.
The next blue moon in 2020
Fall 2020 also brings us a rare blue Halloween moon. A blue moon is defined as the second full moon in a month.
The harvest moon, the first full moon after the equinox, is Thursday October 1st. This will set up the blue moon, which will be Saturday, October 31st – Halloween night.
(Can’t see the full moon calendar? Click here.)
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Steve Novak can be reached at [email protected].