First Day of Spring Arrives Sunday. What to Know About the Vernal Equinox

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The vernal equinox arrives Sunday for the Northern Hemisphere, marking the official start of spring for the Chicago area.

After a chilly, rainy start to the weekend, Chicago should start to feel the the spring season beginning in just 24 hours.

Here's what to know about the spring equinox:

What Is the Vernal or Spring Equinox?

The vernal equinox, also called the spring equinox or March equinox, happens in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun crosses the equator line, heading north, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

After Sunday, the Northern Hemisphere will begin to become tilted more toward the sun, which brings more daylight hours and warmer temperatures.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the March equinox marks the opposite season: the start of autumn.

The word "equinox" comes from the Latin words "aequus," meaning equal, and "nox," meaning "night," the almanac said. On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world.

Will It Feel Like Spring?

Sunday is shaping up to be mostly sunny and dry with temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s, according to the latest models, which will be ideal for runners in the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.

The spring-like temperatures will likely continue into the workweek as Monday should remain partly cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60s, close to 70 degrees. Some rain showers are possible later in the day.

In classic Chicago fashion, a cool down is expected to quickly arrive Tuesday through Thursday with temperatures in the mid-40s and low 50s, along with mixed rain showers.

When Will the Sunrise and Sunset Be?

The sunrise for the first day of spring on Sunday will be at 6:53 a.m. and sunset will be at 7:02 p.m., the NBC 5 Storm Team found.

Chicago will start to see sunsets after 8 p.m. starting May 12, according to timeanddate.com. At that time, the sun will be rising around 5:30 a.m.

Can You Stand a Raw Egg on Its End on the Equinox?

An article in a 1945 edition of LIFE magazine popularized the egg legend. Journalist Annalee Jacoby wrote a story for LIFE, explaining how in ancient Chinese culture, people would create displays of eggs standing on end during the first day of spring.

According to the almanac, the folklore is only partially true. An egg should be able to balance on its end on the equinox, but also on other days.

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