Spring is set to arrive on Friday but it is notable that the season of flowers and showers gets shorter every year by about 30 seconds to a minute and it happens due to astronomical quirks.
This year's spring will officially start at 6:45 p.m. EDT on March 20, according to the U.S. National Weather Service (NSW). Gavin Schmidt, the director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, said at that exact moment, which is called the vernal equinox, the axis of the Earth will reach a halfway mark, where it points neither toward the sun (as it does on the summer solstice) nor away from the sun (as it does on the winter solstice).
But spring has been losing time in the Northern Hemisphere for past several years. This year, summer is the longest season, with 93.65 days, followed by spring with 92.76 days, autumn with 89.84 days and winter with 88.99 days, said Larry Gerstman, an amateur astronomer in New York.
As the years go on, spring will lose time to summer, and winter will lose time to autumn and in 3000, the seasonal lengths will have shifted in the Northern Hemisphere: summer will be 93.92 days, while spring will be 91.97 days, autumn 90.61 days and winter 88.74 days, Gerstman said. [6 Signs Spring Has Sprung]
The seasons of Earth are caused by the tilt of the Earth on its axis and this tilt of 23.5-degrees from the straight-up-and-down position means that for six months of the year, the Northern Hemisphere leans slightly toward the sun, whereas during the other six months, the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth leans toward the sun.