Fall just began in the Valley, but did you know you can celebrate its beginning twice? There are actually two different first days of the autumn season!

Each day is defined by different parameters to start the new season. Looking at both starts to the season, there is some variance in “fall-like” weather here in the Valley.

Meteorological Fall

For meteorologists, fall started September 1. Meteorological fall is one of four meteorological seasons, including winter, spring, and summer.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, meteorological seasons are broken into three month groups. So, meteorological fall runs from September 1 through November 30.

This follows our monthly civil calendar closely, which helps meteorologists with observations and forecasts. These meteorological seasons make it easier to calculate seasonal statistics.

So far, meteorological fall has felt more like summer. According to the National Weather Service, Youngstown’s normal high temperatures for the first three weeks of September are in the upper 70s.

This September, high temperatures in Youngstown ranged from 80 to 90 degrees for six of the first seven days.

September 2023 DaysSeptember Normal High TemperaturesSeptember 2023 Recorded High Temperatures
Data Courtesy of the National Weather Service

It’s also been a dry start to the fall season. According to the National Weather Service, Youngstown’s normal total precipitation for September is just under four inches. So far this September, Youngstown has only had 0.35″ of precipitation.

Astronomical Fall

Many people consider astronomical fall the regular start of fall. This is due to the autumnal equinox which can happen on September 22 or 23.

There is also a spring, or vernal, equinox. This happens on either March 20 or 21. The exact day of an equinox varies because of Leap Years.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, the autumnal and vernal equinoxes are determined by the Earth’s tilt on it’s axis.

The autumnal and vernal equinoxes are also determined by the sun’s alignment over the equator. This means day and night are the same length.

Unlike the start of meteorological fall, astronomical fall for 2023 begins with more fall-like weather. Be sure to check it out in the 7-day forecast.

Whichever first day of fall you choose to follow, the meteorologists in the Storm Team 27 Weather Center will be here to track all weather coming to the Valley in the next three months.