While the start of September brought us an extended summer, we’ve now started to see chillier mornings, more wind, and less sunshine. Autumn looks to be making its return. But while some people will mourn the warm summer months, others can’t wait to get cosy again.
So when is autumn officially back and when is it time to dust off those winter jackets again?
Find out how much time we have left before the official start of autumn.
When does autumn start?
Autumn begins in September, but the date depends on whether you follow the astronomical or the meteorological calendar, as they measure the seasons differently.
When is astronomical autumn?
The astronomical calendar is based on the position of the Sun in relation to the Earth.
The Met Office explains that: “The astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degrees of tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the Sun.”
This year, autumn starts on September 23 and ends on December 22.
When is meteorological autumn?
Meteorological seasons split the year into four seasons, each made up of three months.
The meteorological seasons are defined as spring (March, April, May), summer (June, July, August), autumn (September, October, November), and winter (December, January, February).
According to the meteorological season, autumn starts on September 1 and ends on November 30.
When is the autumn equinox?
The autumn equinox marks the start of the season, so it will take place on September 23 at 6.50am.
Equinoxes mark the start of spring and autumn, while solstices mark the start of summer and winter.
“On the autumn equinox, day and night are of roughly equal length and the nights will become increasingly longer than the days,” explains the Met Office, “until the spring equinox, when the pattern is reversed.”
“It also marks the time of year when the northern hemisphere begins to tilt away from the Sun, resulting in less direct sunlight and consequently the cooling temperatures.”