Leap Year 2020: Why we have this extra day every four years

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER (WROC) — Every four years we go through the fun process of adding an extra day to the calendar year.

This is all based on adjusting the Gregorian calendar to the seasons, or to the actual time in which it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun.

A full year’s time is about 365.2425 days, which translates to 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds.

One option would be to simply add six hours to the end of each year, but you can imagine that would throw off more than your typical New Year’s Eve party. Instead we have a Leap Year that has been around for about 2,000 years.

Every four years on February 29th the extra year sets us right back on track with the seasons. From decade to decade this works, but from century to century it does need to be adjusted. We gain about 11 minutes each year, so after 128 years that adds up to about a day.

That is adjusted every century by skipping the Leap Year. Even with those adjustments we will still eventually be off, since we’re missing those 28 years. The solution? Every 400 years the Leap Year goes back in, just like it did in the year 2000.

This year will be a cold one! Expect some lake-effect snow showers around, but the big story Saturday will be cold air.

The forecast wind chills on Leap Day 2020.

Some traditions say that February 29 is a popular day for women to propose to men. People that are born on the Leap Day are known as leapers. All Leap Years occur during an election year. Regardless of what happens, make sure to enjoy it!

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