Leonid meteor shower to peak this weekend with great viewing conditions from Paris to Munich, Rome

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Robert Richards, AccuWeather meteorologist
November 18, 2018, 2:53:18 AM EST


One of the most well-known meteor showers of the year is set to peak this weekend as the Leonids will be on full display across Europe.

The Leonids have produced meteor storms in excess of 1,000 per hour in the past; however, this year’s event is expected to produce around 15 per hour, according to Space.com.

The best time to view the meteor shower will be between 3 a.m. and dawn, as a bright moon will attempt to wash out the meteors earlier in the night.

Europe 11/17


While the meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, you can see meteors anywhere in the night sky.

November meteor showers are often obscured by cloud cover as unsettled weather becomes more frequent across Europe; however, tranquil weather is forecast for much of western and central Europe, providing ideal viewing conditions.

The best viewing conditions will be from the British Isles into France, parts of Germany, northern Italy and Austria.

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Mostly clear skies will bring the best viewing to Paris, Munich and Rome from Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Low clouds may develop around the London metro area early Sunday morning, which could obscure some of the dazzling display.

If you are going out to view the meteor shower, you will want to be prepared with warm clothing and blankets. Also, give yourself extra time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness for optimal viewing.

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Some clouds may limit viewing at times in Madrid, Berlin and Belgrade; however, there will be enough breaks in the clouds to catch a glimpse of several meteors each hour.

With a storm system moving through the eastern Mediterranean Sea and another in western Russia, poor viewing is expected in southern Italy, Greece, southern Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states. Rain and clouds could also bring poor viewing across parts of Spain and Portugal.

If the weather fails to cooperate on Saturday night, don’t give up hope of catching a glimpse of a meteor as the show will continue through the end of November with the number of meteors visible slowly falling each night.

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