By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mike from New Auburn asked:What’s the difference between meteorological spring and “real” spring?

The name for “real” spring is astronomical spring, and this year it starts on March 20 at 11:57 a.m. Central Time. That date is based on the Earth’s position in relation to the sun, so the seasons aren’t always to same length every year.

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Meteorological spring was created to make it easier to compare weather statistics from year to year. Meteorological seasons are divided into 3-month segments: Spring runs March-May, summer runs June-August, fall runs September-November, and winter runs December-February.

Marlene must have been thinking back to days when we used to “spring forward” in April. She asked: Why is start of daylight savings now in the beginning of March?

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Back in 2007, the rules changed for the first time in 20 years when the Energy Policy Act of 2005 went into effect. Now, daylights savings is about a month longer than it used to be – or about 65 percent of the year. The idea behind the change is that it reduces energy consumption because we don’t have to turn our lights on so early, but the research on whether people really save energy is mixed.

Many of you have written wanting to know: What is that whistle during the seven-day WCCO forecast?

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That whistle is the same one you hear at the beginning of the WCCO Weather Watcher jingle.

Heather Brown