If it feels like spring is coming early, it actually is.
Usually spring arrives every March 21, but this year, it begins on March 19—that's earlier than it has been in 124 years (since 1896), according to the Farmer's Almanac.
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What's the cause behind this good news? It has to do with leap year, the Earth's rotation around the sun and century marks.
Long story short—because the year 2000 was a leap year, the following spring equinoxes continued to happen earlier, moving from the 21 to the 20th.
"The consequences of that little move are what’s affecting us now. You’ve waited twenty years for this moment even if you weren’t aware of it," the Almanac states.
This year is a leap year (February 29th was on the calendar), so this year, and every four years from now on (every coming leap year), including 2024, 2028 and 2032, there will be a new record earliest start to spring, the almanac says. But don't worry, spring won't just continuously happen earlier and earlier. It all resets to March 21 in 2103.
"As every century wears on, the date slips earlier to the 20th and possibly even to the 19th of March, but this slippage gets halted and rectified by the omission of a leap day during the next century year, like in 1700, 1800 and 1900," the almanac says. "That creates a sudden 'jump' of one day, with the first day of summer, spring, and winter pushed to the 21st again, and all seems right with the world."
You can read more about the math of the matter on Patch.