Spring begins Thursday

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A mild, somewhat humid Thursday with scattered storms – which may be strong – also happens to be the first day of spring.

The equinox happens the moment the sun’s direct rays pass over the Earth’s equator. That will happen Thursday at 10:50 p.m. Central Time. While "equinox" is Latin for “equal night,” we don’t actually have exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night on the equinox. This year, eastern Iowa has about 12 hours and seven minutes of daylight on the equinox; March 16 was the closest to 12 hours.

The sun’s direct rays will keep moving farther north to the Tropic of Cancer through the first day of summer on June 20, which means sunlight in Iowa will also get stronger through then.