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Fall, also referred to as autumn, officially begins today at 2:21 PM. In the past, it was called “Harvest” because farmers collected their crops for the winter. Today the day and night both last for nearly 12 hours. In fact, the name “Equinox” derives from Latin and means equal night.

Tomorrow, the day will get even shorter until we experience the shortest day of the year – the winter solstice.

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Fall is also the time when the our humidity gratefully subsides and is transitions to colder, more erratic weather conditions. Typically, the News Channel 3 viewing region sees some of it’s more potent life-threatening storms in the month of November because of the changing of the air masses.

NWS Memphis recorded the total number of tornadoes from 1873 to 2011 and you cannot help but notice the spike of deadly tornadoes in the fall season, which is almost double the other months outside of the spring.

NWS Memphis

Meteorologists typically define the fall season on the first day of the months that include the equinoxes and solstices.

  • Spring runs from March 1 to May 31;
  • Summer runs from June 1 to August 31;
  • Fall (autumn) runs from September 1 to November 30; and
  • Winter runs from December 1 to February 28 (February 29 in a leap year)

So, do you choose to use the term fall or autumn? It’s actually a matter of preference, both are correct. Autumn is primarily used in British English, while fall is a term more frequently used in American English.

Happy fall, y’all!