Arkansas Storm Team Weather Blog: Monday Is Fall Balance – Here’s What It Means

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Thursday, September 22 was the official first day of autumn and the autumnal equinox. The Autumnal Equinox is when most people think we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, but we don’t.

Even though equinox is Latin for “equal nights,” we actually had 12 hours and 8 minutes of daylight on Thursday.

Equilux, which means “equal light” in Latin, is when daylight lasts exactly 12 hours. In Arkansas, this happens on Monday, September 26.

In the northern hemisphere, the fall equilibrium is always several days after the fall equinox. This runs from September 24 near the Arctic Circle to September 28 along the Mexican border.

Why is it?

Indeed, the equilux depends 100% on the presence of 12 hours of daylight. Daylight begins as soon as part of the sun rises above the horizon and ends as soon as all of the sun sets below the horizon. This makes there more than 12 hours of daylight at the equinox.

This is true even at the equator. According to TimeAndDate.com, places like Quito, Ecuador that are on the equator have about 12 hours and 8 minutes of daylight year-round! This means that locations on the equator never have equilux.

Here in Arkansas we also had 12 hours and 8 minutes of daylight at the equinox, but since we lose about 2 minutes of daylight each day, we reach our equilibrium just 4 days after the equinox.

This varies with latitude because more northerly places lose daylight at a much faster rate, so they have their balance closer to the equinox.

The days are getting shorter each day and the next time Arkansas will see 12 hours of daylight is March 16.

– Meteorologist Alex Libby

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