Not soon enough: Today marks the first day of spring

Believe it or not, spring has arrived.

Winter officially ended this morning at 3.29 a.m. PT when the sun moved directly over the equator, marking the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

It's the time of year when the days grow longer, tree buds swell and temperatures rise.

On Sunday, the sun came out — though temperatures remained chilly — giving B.C.'s Lower Mainland a partial taste of what's to come.

"Forget spring, I want summer," said Elia Chung, a vendor at the farmers market at Hastings Park.

"We've had way too much cold this winter."

Last year at this time, Vancouver streets were already under a canopy of pink cherry blossoms. This year, it's a canopy of buds.

Linda Poole, founder of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, said those the blossoms will arrive, they'll just be late.

"It will just go longer into May," Poole said.

According to Environment Canada, temperatures will rise this week, up to 12 C in the Lower Mainland, but the rain returns Tuesday and will stay all week.

With files from Deborah Goble