First Days of Seasons 2018

When Do Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Begin?

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter 360

Find equinox and solstice dates for 2018—specifically, the March equinox, the June solstice, the September equinox, and the December solstice.

When Do the Seasons of the Year Begin?

Listed below are the equinox and solstice dates and times, based on the Eastern Time Zone (ET). Adjust to your time zone. Note that an almanac is an astronomical “calendar of the heavens;” these dates are not based on local meteorology.

For readers of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, these dates mark the start of the spring, summer, autumn, and winter seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.

Note: The times are based on Eastern time. Subtract 3 hours for Pacific time, 2 hours for Mountain time, 1 hour for Central time, or whatever is relevant to your time zone.

Seasons of 2018:
SPRING EQUINOX March 20, 12:15 P.M. EDT
SUMMER SOLSTICE June 21, 6:07 A.M. EDT
FALL EQUINOX September 22, 9:54 P.M. EDT
WINTER SOLSTICE December 21, 5:23 P.M. EST
Seasons of 2019:
SPRING EQUINOX March 20, 5:58 P.M. EDT
SUMMER SOLSTICE June 21, 11:54 A.M. EDT
FALL EQUINOX September 23, 3:50 A.M. EDT
WINTER SOLSTICE December 21, 11:19 P.M. EST

Why Do the Seasons Change?

The four seasons are determined by shifting sunlight (not heat!)—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.

Equinox solstice cycle
Photo Credit: NASA

Spring

On the vernal equinox, day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. See our First Day of Spring page

Crocus field spring

Summer

On the summer solstice, we enjoy the most daylight of the calendar year. The Sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting “shorter,” i.e., the length of daylight starts to decrease. See our First Day of Summer page

Sunflower bees

Fall

On the autumnal equinox, day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days after the autumnal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going southward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. See our First Day of Fall page.

Fall leaves

Winter

The winter solstice is the “shortest day” of the year, meaning the least amount of sunlight. The Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting “longer,” i.e., the amount of daylight begins to increase. See our First Day of Winter page.

Winter solstice

What’s your favorite season—and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

My Mother used to get these

My Mother used to get these same exact Almanac's back in the day...it's sooo beautiful making this connection. KEEP READING this stuff...I love you...by Deremiah *CPE

What would we do without

What would we do without it?
I for one would be lost

Pages