When is the first day of spring 2022? When do the clocks go forward?

With warmer weather hitting the UK this week, spring is clearly on the way - but when does the season officially begin?

Identifying the first day of spring isn't as simple as it seems because it depends whether you're looking at astronomical spring or meteorological spring.

Astronomical seasons refer to the position of Earth's orbit in relation to the Sun, taking into account equinoxes and solstices, according to The Met Office.

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The organisation explained: "This is due to the 23.5 degrees of tilt of the Earth's rotational axis concerning its orbit around the Sun.

Spring is almost here

"Since the seasons vary in length, the start date of a new season can fall on different days each year."

In 2021, astronomical spring began on March 20 2021 and ended on June 21 2021.

When does spring start in 2022?

In 2022, the first day of astronomical spring will take place on Sunday March 20, and will end on Tuesday, June 21.

March 20 will also mark the first day of the season - astronomically speaking - in 2022 and 2023.

In 2023, spring will also end on June 21, but in 2024 it will end on June 20.

However, if you're looking at meteorological spring, the first day of spring will always take place on March 1, and the season will end every year on May 31.

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This is because meteorological seasons are based on the annual temperature cycle and coincide with the calendar to determine a clear transition between the seasons.

"The meteorological seasons consist of splitting the seasons into four periods made up of three months each," the Met Office explained.

"These seasons are split to coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for meteorological observing and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics."

When do the clocks go forward?

The clocks do not automatically go forward and back to coincide with the dates seasons begin and end.

In 2022, Daylight Saving Time will begin on Sunday March 27, ending on Sunday October 30.