Autumn has begun in the UK today (Wednesday September 23), but what chance of a ‘Indian Summer’ across Sussex?
Today marks the September Equinox (one of two equinoxes each year - in September and March) when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is almost equal.
timeanddate.com explains: “The September equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s Equator – from north to south.
On an equinox, night and day are almost exactly the same length, roughly 12 hours apiece.
For people living at the North Pole the equinox marks the beginning of six months of darkness.
The word “equinox” comes from the Latin equi (meaning equal) and nox (meaning night).
The autumn equinox usually falls on the 22 or 23 September but in 1931 it fell on 24 September.
On the autumnal equinox, pagans celebrate Mabon and the second harvest, beginning preparations for winter, a time to respect the impending dark and giving thanks to the sunlight.
The North American term ‘fall’ was in widespread usage in England until the word Autumn entered English from the French automne, becoming common usage in the 18th century.
Druids meet at Stonehenge greeting the equinox’s arrival as they do for the March equinox and the summer solstice.
But what might the weather hold for beginning of autumn, could there be an Indian Summer in store?
The Met Office forecast and outlook for the end of September:
“High pressure is expected to affect most of the UK for much of next week and for the start of October, bringing a spell of generally fine and dry weather. Areas of mist and fog will become increasingly likely overnight, particularly for central and southern areas, and these could be slow to clear during the mornings.
The far northwest will probably have some spells of wet and windy weather at times, but even here there will be some drier days too. It may also become breezy across the far south into October, but elsewhere winds will be light for most, allowing afternoon temperatures to rise a little above normal, and perhaps warm at times. Overnight it will become chilly in many places, with a risk of local frosts.
During the second week of October current signals are that pressure will slowly decline over the UK, leading to a return to more changeable weather conditions.
Many places will see some periods of rain, the heaviest and most frequent of these in the north-west, with the south-east seeing the best of any drier brighter interludes. Temperatures are likely to balance out close to average through this period, but with the possibility of some chilly nights at first.
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