Last blue moon of the decade to rise Saturday night
By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
May 18, 2019, 5:02:46 PM EDT
An unusual full moon will fill the sky on Saturday night -- a type of moon that won’t rise again until 2021.
Many people are familiar with the term ‘blue moon’ and know it as the second full moon in one calendar month. However, there is another way for a full moon to earn this well-known nickname.
“One season—winter, spring, fall, summer—typically has three full moons. If a season has four full moons, then the third full moon in the season may be called a Blue Moon,” the Old Farmer’s Almanac explained on its website.
This weekend’s full moon will be the third of four this spring, making it a blue moon. The first full moon of spring fell on March 20, 2019 at 9:43 p.m. EDT, less than four hours after the official start of spring.
Seasonal blue moons are not particularly rare, occurring once every two or three years. The next seasonal blue moon falls on Aug. 22, 2021.
Many people across the United States stepping outside on Saturday night may look up to see a cloud-filled sky rather than the blue moon.
A potent system in then central U.S. will spread clouds across most of the region, extending from the Gulf Coast to the western Great Lakes and westward to the Rocky Mountains.
Meanwhile, an out-of-season storm moving in from the Pacific Ocean will spread clouds across most of the western U.S.
The best viewing conditions may end up being across the eastern U.S. and over the southern High Plains, but clouds and spotty showers may still interfere with viewing in parts of the mid-Atlantic and New England.
This weekend’s full moon may be called a few other nicknames in addition to a blue moon.
“The May full moon marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom,” the Old Farmer’s Almanac reported.
For this reason, May’s full moon is known as the Hare Moon, the Flower Moon, the Milk Moon and the Budding Moon.
Despite its nicknames, Saturday night’s moon will appear like other full moons throughout the year.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 3:39:12 AM EDT
Three fatalities have been reported near Golden City, Missouri, as a severe thunderstorm outbreak hit Oklahoma to Illinois on Wednesday. A tornado also struck the capital city of Jefferson City, Missouri, producing extensive damage.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 10:53:58 PM EDT
This Memorial Day weekend is set to have the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000; INRIX predicts drive times could be more than three times longer than normal.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 3:29:09 PM EDT
Isolated tornadoes are among the dangers as a surge of heat and humidity helps to fuel severe thunderstorms in the northeastern United States on Thursday.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 7:14:01 PM EDT
After a severe weather outbreak hammered areas from Texas to Kansas and Missouri early this week, more severe weather will threaten these same areas in the days leading up to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 3:46:01 PM EDT
Temperatures approaching the century mark amid the hottest weather yet this year will challenge records in many places that date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 1:43:10 PM EDT
There is concern that the Gulf of Mexico may be the breeding ground for a second tropical storm to form before the Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 11:32:34 AM EDT
Heading into the second week of the 2019 hurricane season in the East Pacific basin, there is the potential for a system to develop near the Central American coast.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 11:30:54 AM EDT
In a circumstance similar to the iconic film Jaws, a great white shark -- one of the most predatory types in the world -- has been detected for the first time in an estuary on the Northeast U.S. coast.