Snow Moon to Reach Peak Brightness on Sunday

Posted: February 5, 2023 9:55 am

While you may not be living in the middle of a winter wonderland this year if you live in the Northeast thanks to the current snow deficits, you may have the opportunity to check out the Snow Moon over the next few days. Read on for all of the details.

When to Spot the Snow Moon

The last full moon of the Northern Hemisphere’s meteorological winter will reach peak brightness on Sunday at 1:30 pm EST, however, you will not see it rise above the horizon until after the sun goes down Sunday evening. This moon will shine brightly through early Tuesday morning, giving you multiple opportunities to check it out if you enjoy the right weather conditions.

The moon gets its name from the snow that typically distinguishes the weather pattern for much of the U.S. during February. However, a good portion of the Northeast is under a severe snow deficit this year with only trace amounts of the white stuff falling throughout the region.

The February full moon also goes by the names of the Hungry Moon, the Raccoon Moon, the Groundhog Moon, and the Bald Eagle Moon. These names can go back centuries with some having their roots with the Native Americans or early settlers of the nation.

You can expect the Snow Moon to reach the top point in the sky at about midnight local time. Be sure to gaze your eyes above the horizon to find this beauty.

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of Comet E3 on these nights may be disappointed. The brightness of the moon will make it difficult for stargazers to see the green-colored comet streaking across the night sky. You will have better luck if you use a telescope to try to find the comet.

How Weather Will Impact Viewing Opportunities

The weather in your area will also influence how easily you will see the Snow Moon. Ironically, cloudy skies and falling snow will obstruct the view of the moon for some people.


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You can expect snow showers in parts of the interior Northeast, including northwestern Pennsylvania, upstate New York, and the northern portions of New England. Snow will also be a factor in the Intermountain West, falling on the northern Rockies, the Cascade Mountains in Washington and Oregon, and the Wasatch Range in Utah.

The Sierra Nevada in California got hammered with snowfall measured in feet on Saturday and into Sunday. Although the snow is forecast to begin to dissipate by late Sunday, clouds may remain across this region on Sunday night. This will translate to a less clear view of the moon.

Other than these areas forecast to see snow, the rest of the country should enjoy prime viewing conditions. Clear skies are in the cards for the southern and central Plains, the Tennessee Valley, and down into the Gulf Coast. Out West, Southern California and the Four Corners will be the best places to see the moon.

The next full moon will rise in the night sky on March 6 and March 7. Best known as the Worm Moon, this moon will be the first major celestial event of the meteorological spring.

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