September 22 2020 is the start of the Fall Season. At 9:31 AM, the sun’s direct rays will shine on the equator, then the focus will be in the Southern Hemisphere for the next six months.

There are a few ways of looking at this day. First, it has been celebrated around the world from harvest time to ancient pyramid shadow alignments. On this day, the sun is at the halfway point between the summer and winter solstice. For the northern hemisphere it marks the first day of fall, and an increasing drop in daily temperature as the days get shorter.

But is there equal daylight? It is equal gravity? Can you stand an egg on end? Here is a look at everything I felt relevant for fellow science geeks to eat up and teachers to share with their students. This includes a few videos as well.

Why Do We Call It Fall?

  • The leaves begin to fall
  • The temperature begins to fall
  • The night begins to fall, earlier with speed this time of year.

Note: I give a similar answer for the reasons behind the name Nor’Easter: A coastal storm that

  • moves towards the northeast
  • heads into the Northeastern US
  • and sends cool, damp northeasterly winds inland.

Sometimes more than one answer fits.


It’s Already Fall, Kind Of

Meteorologists lump climate data in groups of 3 full months. Meteorological Fall is September 1 to November 30.


How May Days From The Equinox Until…

  • October 1st =  8
  • Halloween 👻 = 39
  • Thanksgiving 🦃  = 65
  • End of Hurricane Season 🌀= 69
  • Winter ❄️  = 89
  • Christmas 🎅🏻 = 94
  • Jan 1, 2021 🎉 = 101 * THIS CAN NOT ARRIVE SOON ENOUGH


Earth Orbit And The Sun

The tilt of Earth and orbit around the sun, allows the direct rays to shift between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere throughout the year.

  • Spring and Summer, more direct sunlight is in the north of the equator.
  • Equinox, the direct rays are on the equator.
  • Fall and Winter, more direct sunlight is south of the equator.

September 22 Autumnal Equinox And Seasons Orbit



Shorter Days

Between The Autumnal Equinox (Sep 22) and Winter Solstice (Dec 21):

We will lose 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 3 seconds of daylight.


Peak Daily Sun Angle

Over the next 3 months, the peak sun (solar noon)  will drop 23.6º in the Baltimore sky.

  • September 22 = 51.1º at Solar Noon
  • December 21 = 27.5º at Solar Noon


Sun Angle Fall To Winter


Temperature Fall And Seasonal Lag

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, the average temperature begins a drop of about one degree every two days for the rest of this month. We are losing an average of 2 minutes and 33 seconds of daylight each day now. By the end of the month, the sunrise will be 10 minuted later and sunset will be 18 minutes earlier.

Daylight ☀️ Sunrise Sunset
September 22 6:54 AM 7:04 PM
September 30 7:02 AM 6:44 PM


Equal Is Not Equal Sunlight

The word equinox sounds a lot like ‘equal’, and that is how it is often introduced in an earth science class. I was originally taught that it was the day when the entire planet also had equal time of daylight and darkness as well. That is not entirely true.

In Baltimore:

  • Sunrise at 6:55 am, Sunset at 7:04 pm
  • 12 hours and seven minutes of daylight.

Fast forward three days to September 25

  • Sunrise at 6:587am, Sunset at 6:57 pm
  • Equal daylight and darkness


Light bends around the atmosphere. This image shows sunrise as seen from the International Space Station. The glow of light appearing above the sun shows how light bends around our atmosphere before you see the actual sun.SunriseISS

Think about the red and orange sky in the morning and evening, that is a demonstration of how light bends in our atmosphere, especially at dawn and dusk. The view of the sun itself is also seen as the light bends around the horizon.

So while the sun itself should be in our view for 12 hours today (splitting the time with darkness), the light of the sunlight bends in the atmosphere and gives us an extra few minutes of daylight on each end of equinox day.


The coolest thing seen in space: Sunrise from NASA and ISS


Climate Data for Baltimore

Sep 22 Normal High = 76ºF

If you were to compare that to the the other ‘equinox’

March 21 Normal High = 51ºF.

That is a big difference, despite the same sun angle. This is due to seasonal lags of temperature.

On any given day, the sun is highest in the sky between noon and 1 PM, but the hottest daily high would be between 3 to 5 PM.

Our strongest solar rays are on June 21, but the hottest temperatures are the middle of July, weeks later.

In short, there is a delayed response of warming, but also cooling.  Since the ground and nearby water is  still warm from summer, that residual heat helps delay our cooling. The upcoming longer nights will change that quickly.


Next Month

Over the next 30 days, we will lose 10 degrees and expect a high of 65ºF by the third week of October. The cooling rate slows down a little and averages out to one degree cooler every three days then.



Stand An Egg On End?

Some teachers in my High School tried to convince the class that the equal force of the sun’s gravitational pull on the equator would allow an egg to stand on it’s end during an equinox. Simply put, that is not true! It’s a demonstration I continue to see in both autumn and spring.

I actually tried this many years ago at WBNG-TV in Binghamton. Since I could not duplicate it, I used double sided scotch tape to keep the egg upright during the broadcast.

The truth:  If you have the right egg and a flat spot to sit it on… just add patience and a steady hand will do the balancing any day of the year. I’m not the only one to debunk this. Check out this old video I found online showing a similar demonstration.


Polar seasons:

Technically the equinox marks when sun will set on the north pole to begin 6 months of darkness. It will look more like twilight for about a month. On the flip side, the sun will rise on the south pole.


Video: National Geographic Describes Equinox Around The Globe


Explore More:

Record Low Tied at BWI and Frost Photos Sep 20

Record Low and Frost Photos September 20 2020


Typical First Frost and Freeze



14 Local Maryland Pages (and York PA)

We have made a page for Maryland Weather which gives you the current conditions for 14 present area locations. Many of these match up with the spots on our route.  Please use this list below are reference. I will include them daily with my articles on the kids.

Local Hourly Forecasts and Local Radar
Central Maryland
Southern Maryland



Maryland Weather 

Maryland Weather Page

I wanted to keep it simple. Just the basics for a quick view at any time.

Maryland Weather Just In Weather


Please share your thoughts, best weather pics/video, or just keep in touch via social media



Email Updates

Please make sure you sign up (above or click here to sign up for email alerts…. ) for my newsletter. This way you will get an email to make sure you are notified of each post.



Also See:


Severe Storm Report Photos And Video From Thursday

Lightning_I95 Baltimore Sep 3Annapolis Storm September 3

Storm Reports All September 3


Maryland Trek Team Shirt

All proceeds will go to the Just In Power Kids programs

Trek Team Shirt Gray

Maryland Trek Cycle Jerseys From Hill Killer

All proceeds will go to the Just In Power Kids programs


Also See:

July 2020 The hottest on record. Will it hint at snow this winter?


Record Hottest Month in Baltimore July 2020




Comet NEOWISE Viewing All July (photos/video)

Comet NEOWISE Bob Gelety


Maryland Strong Love ❤️ 

My ‘bonus’ daughter made this map of Maryland a few years ago. We brought it back for needed positivity. Now on her pick of tanks, and this cool Maryland T for men or women.

Click here or on the image to see more

This is all LOCAL: Made by Maryland Print House; Proceeds support my Maryland Trek 7 this August for Just In Power Kids.MarylandStrongLoveJaiden



Other  Links:

Was Your County Not Included?

Click this map for more on the regional forecast zones


Baltimore Weather At BWI May Not Be As Hot As Reported

Construction at the airport close to the weather station may be added artificial heat. Click here or the image for the details.


Also See:

Double Solar Halo

Double solar halo June 8


Just In Power Kids:

Proceeds go to our programs Providing FREE holistic care for kids in cancer treatment and up to 5 years post treatment and caregivers.


Shine On

Proceeds from all sales go to Just In Power Kids. Click the image to shop and show your support.