Why do we have a Leap Day once every 4 years? Severe Weather Team 2 explains

ATLANTA — It’s something that happens only once every four years and it’s here today.

Of course, Thursday is Feb. 29 marking Leap Day. But you are probably wondering: Why do we even need it?

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Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan explained on Channel 2 Action News This Morning that it goes back to geometry and space.

You may think that it takes the Earth 365 days to complete one revolution around the sun. But Monahan says not so fast.

“That is not the case. It actually takes the Earth 365 and a quarter days to get around the Sun,” Monahan says.


Each year, there are about six hours that we don’t account for in the calendar. Over the span of 100 years, if you added that up, the calendar would be off 24 days.

So, an extra day is added to February once every four years.

“2021, 2022, 2023, we had 28 days in the month of February. But this year, 29 days and over four years, the average is 365.25. So the calendar is exactly on track.”

Read more about the history of Leap Day here. You can also find a list of deals to celebrate Leap Day here.

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