Fall Weather & Full Moon

As if the fantastic fall forecast and the beautiful fall foliage wasn’t enough of a reason to enjoy the outdoors, we have one more treat on tap this weekend…a full moon!

This full moon is kind of special.  First, it has a cool name…the “Hunter’s Moon” which dates back to the colonial days in America.  It has some other aliases too.  During Medieval times in England it was known as the “Blood Moon” and the Chinese apparently refer to it as the “Kindly Moon.”  Second…it will be slightly bigger and brighter than usual.

The Moon’s orbit around Earth isn’t a perfect circle.  There are times when it is slightly closer to us, known as perigee, and times when it is slightly farther away, known as apogee.  The difference between perigee and apogee is about 30,000 miles.  Occasionally, the perigee just happens to coincide with the full moon.  Some people refer to that as a “super moon,” although there is no official definition for that.  Whatever you call it, it all happens tonight.

The sun sets in the west at 6:01 PM Saturday evening.  The moon will rise in the east at 6:05 PM.  By the way, when the moon is full it always rises just about the same time the sun sets.   Another side note, due to an optical illusion the moon always appears bigger when it is low on the horizon and just above the tree-tops than it appears when it is high overhead.  In this case, it’s not just an optical illusion.  The moon will officially be full just after midnight (12:23 AM) and perigee officially occurs later on Sunday.  A perigee full moon is about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than an apogee full moon.  Admittedly, it can be tough for the average person to tell the difference.  Nonetheless, the combination of comfortably crisp, dry fall air, colorful trees, clear skies and the rising full moon should make for an especially beautiful sight this evening.

In case you are curious, apogee for this lunar cycle just happens to occur on Halloween.  For more on tonight’s full moon and other special full moons check out NASA’s website.

Phases of the Moon

Image result for nasa apogee vs perigee

Image result for nasa apogee vs perigee

(Graphics courtesy of NASA)


Saturday night won’t be as chilly as Friday night.  There are no more frost or freeze advisories in effect.  There could be some patchy fog early Sunday morning, and later in the day some clouds will mix in as a front approaches.  So, Sunday won’t be quite as bright as Saturday but still mostly sunny.  And it will definitely be warmer with high temps in the upper 60s to low 70s.  Overall, it’s a practically perfect fall weekend weather-wise!

There is a slight chance of spotty showers Sunday night but skies should clear once again Monday morning.  The warm-up continues with high temperatures in the low 70s on Monday.   By Tuesday we will be approaching record warmth.   The record high in Boston on Tuesday is 82 set in 1947.  It will be close!